Off The Beaten Wine Path in Argentina (#WorldWineTravel)

If you’re a food, wine, and travel lover and want to get off the beaten path, head to Argentina’s Salta Province!

Before Mark and I moved to France, we spent five weeks in this South American country with a goal to propel ourselves into their world: culture, food, wine, and the landscape. Because the country is long, 2,360 miles (3,800 km), it takes time to move around. We narrowed our trip down to certain areas in two provinces: Mendoza and Salta. This article focuses on the Salta province.

To help you get your bearings, this province in northwestern Argentina touches Chile to the southwest, Paraguay to the northeast, and Bolivia to the north.

The city of Salta (capital of the province) has much to offer, with more cafés, live music, outstanding museums, and a small town feel equate to a charming city. But getting out and exploring the province in search of wine became much more of an adventure.

We saw several Caballeros on the streets of Salta.

Thanks to Jeff at foodwineclick for hosting the October World Wine Travel group and choosing Argentina.

Ready, set, go!

Our route: Salta, Cachi, Molinos and up to Bodegas Tacuil, Colomé and Humanao – Googlemaps

After a few days in Salta, we left this sub-tropical mountain rainforest area with a driver – which is a common… and definitely more relaxed way to go. Not only was the driver packed with knowledge about the province, he knew the roads and locals who could give him heads up in case of floods (which can happen suddenly) or other happenings along our route.

The drive from Salta to our destination, Molinos, typically takes just over four hours but can take up to six plus with stops. Driving from Salta to the top of the Cuesta del Obispo (3,348 m / 10,984 ft) is a breathtaking mix of plants and trees of sub-tropical origin that decrease as you get higher. It was quite the verdant mix of trees and plants native to South America.

The landscape changed drastically as we descended the other side of the pass into a high-altitude desert.

Salta Bodegas Tacuil
The road to Bodegas Tacuil and Colomé was washed out the week before we arrived.

From there we got dropped off in the tiny town of Molinos for a couple of nights at Hacienda de Molinos. We hired another driver with 4-wheel drive to take us up the hills and through the rivers to visit some of the highest vineyards in the world at Tacuil and Colomé. The photo above barely scratches the surface of what we drove through to get to the bodegas!

HIgh altitude Malbec Argentina
Malbec vineyard at Bodegas Tacuil
Tasting with Raul Dávalos at Bodega Tacuil
Argentina high altitude wine
Heading to Colomé in Salta Province
Bodega Colome Salta Argentina
Harvest was in happening at Colomé, high altitude Malbec grapes here! Small berries with very thick skins that protect them from the intense heat at this high altitude (roughly 3,111 meters / 10,000 feet).

Interesting to note, Colomé workers have to live around the property during the rainy season because they are cut off from the closest town, Molinos. There are no bridges and it becomes impossible to cross flooded rivers. They have a small, self-sufficient community, complete with a school for the children and a grocery store.

Click through some of the bodega wines we enjoyed in the Salta Province below.

  • Bodegas Humanoa Cafayate Argentina Malbec
  •  A joint project Malbec between Bodegas Yacochuya and Tacuil
  • Bodegas Nanni organic wine Cafayate Argentina
  • Piattelli Torrontes Salta province Argentina

From Molinos we caught another two-hour ride (with the brother of the previous driver) to the town of Cafayate where we had a few more days of winery visits, that often included a nice lunch of empanadas … and of course some local wine.

After Cafayate, we got yet another ride (from the friend of the hotel owner) back to the city of Salta for our return home, visiting along the way some fascinating geological formations.

It was a real adventure exploring small dusty towns and back country wineries. And the people, the food, and of course the wine, were all wonderful. Highly recommend this area of Argentina for anyone who likes to get off the main drag!

Link up to others in the World Wine Travel group of writers!

18 thoughts on “Off The Beaten Wine Path in Argentina (#WorldWineTravel)

  1. Lauren Walsh

    Beautiful photos, stunning landscapes – they tell the tale of the wines! My favorites were the stories of hitching rides from one outpost to another. Feels like my toes were in the dirt alongside yours.

    1. Lynn Post author

      Happy you enjoyed our travel story. Those hitched rides meant a lot of time to practice Spanish! Took so many photos but interestingly, not that many of wine at the bodegas visited… just so much to take in!

  2. Allison Wallace

    This is definitely on our list of wine regions to visit! We had such a great time in Mendoza but as you say, it can be so much rewarding getting off the beaten wine path. Another AdVINEture awaits, preferably with you two!

    1. Lynn Post author

      I can imagine a truly amazing AdVINEture after you two visit this province! (We’d love to join you!)

    1. Lynn Post author

      Thanks Linda – Having more time to explore this part of Argentina is worth it. We saw so many Calalleros and interestingly, they were all dressed very nicely!

    1. Lynn Post author

      No kidding. Grateful for the opportunity and experience… the Argentinian people are so friendly and welcoming!

    1. Lynn Post author

      This is a spectacular part of Argentina for anyone who likes the out of doors. Thanks for stopping by Cam!


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