Soar above the clouds and sample wine from the world’s highest vineyards. Nestled high in the Lerma Valley at the foothills of the Andes mountains, the Salta wine region in Argentina is renowned as home to the highest altitude vineyards in the world – where some wines are produced among the clouds at over 3,000m above sea level.
Mendoza may be the star attraction of Argentina's most renowned wine destinations, but the northwest region of Salta is an incredible destination for those who want to step out of their comfort zone.
Settled high in the Lerma Valley at the foothills of the Andes mountains, the province is known locally as ‘Salta, La Linda’ – Salta, the beautiful – was founded by Spanish conquistadors in the 16th century and is now home to some of the highest-altitude vineyards in the world.
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Salta is known as the main spot for Argentina's special white wine, Torrontés. Besides, it also makes red wines like Malbec and Cabernets. Recently, Tannat has become a popular grape grown in the region.
A growing number of wine lovers are joining Salta wine tours. They get to enjoy top-notch wines made by local wineries owned by the same families for centuries. These tours also offer the insights of skilled European winemakers.
The stunning natural scenery of red rock mountains and tall cacti, paired with great weather, makes Salta a beautiful place. The city has well-preserved colonial architecture and is influenced by the cultures of Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay. This gives Salta wine tours a unique and exotic vibe compared to other regions in Argentina.
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Salta, a charming city in northwest Argentina, offers a variety of attractions for visitors. While visiting Buenos Aires you should make a stop in Salta;
Here are some places you might consider visiting in Salta:
Plaza 9 de Julio: This is the main square in Salta and the heart of the city. It's surrounded by important buildings like the Salta Cathedral, the Cabildo (colonial town hall), and the Basilica of San Francisco.
Salta Cathedral: Located on Plaza 9 de Julio, the Salta Cathedral is a historic church with a beautiful neoclassical facade.
San Bernardo Hill: For panoramic views of Salta, take the cable car or climb the steps to the top of San Bernardo Hill. The scenery is particularly stunning during sunset.
MAAM (Museum of High Altitude Archaeology): This museum houses the well-preserved remains of three Inca children discovered at the peak of Mount Llullaillaco. It provides insights into the Inca civilization and their burial rituals.
Salta Cabildo: This colonial building on Plaza 9 de Julio is a historical and architectural landmark. It houses the Historical Museum of the North.
Cerro San Martin: Another hill with panoramic views, Cerro San Martin is a great spot for hiking and enjoying nature.
Cafayate: While not in Salta city itself, the town of Cafayate is known for its vineyards and wineries. It's about a 3-4 hour drive from Salta and offers a picturesque setting with excellent wine.
Finca Las Nubes, is known for its scenic vineyards and the production of quality wines.
Our local expert in Argentina can arrange special tours of Salta wineries, tailor-made to your preferences and ensuring every detail is handled. This includes a private tour of the Cafayate region, where you can explore a beautiful valley with roaming alpacas and experience the traditional clothing of the altiplano (high plain).
The town itself offers a relaxed setting and a warm atmosphere. Of course, there is also the opportunity to sample wines grown at high altitudes and a bespoke local cuisine experience where wines are paired with specialities including a traditional asado (BBQ) and empanadas or tamales in the bodega’s old colonial house.
Among Salta wineries that come highly recommended is El Esteco, in the heart of the Calchaqui Valley. Founded by French immigrants David Michel and Gabriela Torino in 1892, the vineyards take advantage of the perfect storm of wine growing conditions – high altitude, low rainfall, natural irrigation and ever present sunshine with variable temperatures between night and day – to create some beautifully balanced wines.
Of the other Salta wineries that deserve mention is Bodega San Pedro de Yacochuya, a privileged nook only 8km from Cafayate that was developed by Wine Paths own consultant and world renowned winemaker Michel Rolland in partnership with Arnaldo Etchart.