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July 21st 2016
Published: July 23rd 2016
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Las Nubes WineryLas Nubes WineryLas Nubes Winery

This bodega is above the town, near the waterfall trail.
The Cafayate (CAH-fah-SCHA-tay, as the Argentinians pronounce it) valley is one of the finest wine regions in Argentina. There are around 20 public bodegas (wine factories) in and around town; the valley floor and surrounding hills are covered in vineyards.

The 4 hour bus ride from Salta was stunningly beautiful, especially in the tight, broken valley (Quebrada del Río de Las Conchas) about 20 km before Cafayate, with moonlike eroded rock formations like parts of the American West. It's possible to return to do tours and treks, or to rent a bike and ride there from Cafayate, with proper bike trails part of the way.

The town itself isn't much- mainly a cluster around route 40 that's a hub for tourists and bodegas.

The quality of the wine at the bodegas varies quite a bit- some of the bottles are sold on site for only 30 pesos (under 2$), but anything respctable is at least 100 ($6). The Malbecs and Tannats are best here, considering the climate and altitude. There are also some nice fruity but dry whites, like the Torrontés.

Most bodegas charge around $3 for tastings (and an obligatory tour beforehand, which gets repetitive after a few visits, especially since I only picked up 50% of the language).

I walked and ran to the 5 bodegas that I visited, which wasn't very efficient since they were farther apart than expected and some have odd hours (closed during various siesta hours).

The Nanni bodega in town was particularly impressive- all organic wines with a sunny, comfortable courtyard and a knowledgeable guide.

Las Nubes is in a beautiful spot and was worth the long walk above town.

The 7 waterfalls hike about an hour's walk from town is worth a look, but a guide is a good idea (can be hired near the entrance), as there's quite a lot of sketchy scrambling up boulders and cliffs.

There are more photos below.

Additional photos below
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Red RocksRed Rocks
Red Rocks

The scenery between Salta and Cafayate is spectacular; for once I was jealous of the tour people, who got to stop to take photos- not possible from my bus, so no photos turned out well.

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