Five Wineries that Should be on Your Argentina Wine Tasting Itinerary
Argentina is a country that is extremely diverse. From the glaciers of Patagonia, to the deserts of Salta, this country offers so many different stunning landscapes and cities across a large stretch of territory. Though the country may offer various cultures and sceneries, one thing that Argentines everywhere agree on is their love for their wine! So much so that wine is designated by the government as the official beverage of Argentina.
When it comes to regions, Mendoza is by far the most famous for wine tasting Argentine style. But lesser known regions such as Salta and Patagonia are just as beautiful to visit and offer the same level of quality wine. In this article, we are going to focus on five wineries in Argentina located within the more Northern Provinces of Salta and Mendoza that should be on your Argentine wine tasting itinerary.
While Malbec still reigns supreme as the most popular and well-known grape coming out of this South American country, another grape has made a name for itself in the northern province of Salta. White wine lovers rejoice, because Argentina’s native Torrontés grape makes for a lovely aromatic and refreshing white wine. Follow the Salta Wine Trail from Salta City down to Cafayate and stop to taste some of the best of Torrontés.
While visiting Piattelli Vineyards outside of Cafayate, which sits at 5600 feet above sea level, you will be absolutely amazed at the incredible postcard landscape that surrounds the property. From the high desert mountains to the surrounding vineyards, Piattelli’s Cafayate winery offers arguably one of the most beautiful tasting vistas in the world. Their wines are equally as beautiful. From the Cafayate portfolio, try the Reserve Torrontés grown at almost 6,000 feet. Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a Malbec-Tannat blend round out the portfolio. Ask about the “Arlene Series” of wines grown high up in the Andes Mountains.
For an added bonus, you can also taste the Mendoza portfolio of Piattelli wines or visit the Mendoza winery during your visit to that region. If you plan on visiting either location, fill out the contact form on the website to schedule a time for your tasting and tour.
Bodega Colomé is not only the oldest winery in Argentina, dating back to 1831, but it is also home to the highest vineyards in the world at around 10,000 feet. The high-altitude vineyards create wines of unique complexity and concentration.
A visit to Colomé will take you way off the beaten path, as it is about three hours from Cafayate, and about a 45-minute to an hour drive from the nearest small town of Molinos. If you visit the estate, it may be best to stay on site at the Estancia Colomé and spend time visiting the eclectic James Turrell art museum on the property.
Colomé has been a part of the Hess family since 2001, and Donald Hess has revitalized the property and made it into one of the most exceptional wineries to visit. From a wine adventure travel standpoint, it is in one of the most remote regions of the world, far from the nearest tourist attraction. For those wine lovers looking to taste some of Argentina’s more classic wines from a modernized historic winery in a beautifully secluded area, Bodega Colomé checks all the boxes.
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Visitors can taste wines at Kaiken any day they are open without a reservation, making this winery an easy stop in Mendoza. The winery was built in 1920, giving it some historical context. Kaiken is a brand under the iconic Montes Wines out of Chile, so the quality level is high for the value of wine. Malbec is the main grape you’ll find at this winery but ask about the Brut Sparkling Wine made in the traditional method with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes, or the Estate Malbec Rosé for something a little different.
While visiting the property, you can choose from several different tasting options from basic to premium, as well as tours around the vineyard and Feng Shui winery. Additionally, there are other activities on site such as a vineyard picnic option and a blending game where you can make your own wine!
About a thirty-five-minute drive from Kaiken is the world-renowned Bodega Catena Zapata. Founded in 1902, Bodega Catena Zapata is credited with being one of the pioneering wineries in Argentina’s Mendoza region and for putting Malbec on the map as an Argentine specialty. Family-owned and operated, the wines are now made by winemaker, Laura Catena Zapata, who is the fourth generation of this iconic Argentine winemaking family.
Visiting Catena Zapata requires making a reservation by inquiring on their website. The winery offers three types of tours: The Catena Pyramid Visit, which includes a tasting of three high-end wines and a walk-through of the barrel room for $30; the Renaissance of Malbec Visit, which is a tour based on the history of Malbec and includes a barrel tasting in addition to four high-end wines, cheese and charcuterie for $100; and the Adrianna Vineyard Grand Cru Visit, which is a tour based on the famous Adrianna Vineyard, including a vineyard tour and a barrel tasting of five exclusive wines along with tapas for $150.
A little over an hour from the city center area of Mendoza in the Tupungato Valley on a property surrounded by unspoiled nature is Argentina’s leading organic winery, Domaine Bousquet. Visiting this property used to mean a step back in time, but the winery now has a dirt road, instead of a dirt track, and electricity, in addition to the top-rated, 35-seat Gaia Restaurant, which focuses heavily on local, organic ingredients made into culinary creations by Tupungato-born and-raised, New York-trained Chef Adrian Baggio. Staying true to its principles of quality organic wines, Domaine Bousquet is very much an authentic Argentine winery experience with world-class flare.
Reservations are recommended for both the tour and tasting and dining in the restaurant on site, but the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly. Domaine Bousquet is a French-inspired Argentine winery producing Argentina’s first organic wines of value and quality.