Valleys, ravines, paths that seem to wind right up into the crystal clear skies. Ancient indigenous cultures, folklore, ballads, carnivals, rituals and a deep reverence for earth. Not for nothing is Salta is known as “La Linda” (Land of Beauty).
But it could just as well be dubbed the “Land of Flavor”: who can resist the local empanadas, locro stew, tamales, humitas or high altitude, award winning wines? This is the home of Torrontés, but other varieties also thrive in these terroirs. For instance, both Malbec and Tannat take on an extraordinary character.
Curious travelers will love spending time in these stunning landscapes, and where better than in one of the unique hotels built among the vineyards where you can savor excellent food and the wonderful wines of Salta? Here, we share a list of some of the best wine hotels in Salta:
Wine hotels in Salta: six of the best
At an altitude of 7500 feet above sea level near the town of Molinos, one finds Bodega Colomé, which was founded in 1831. Estancia Colomé is a boutique hotel with 9 unique rooms located around a grand colonial gallery that looks out over lavender bushes and vineyards.
The restaurant’s menu, curated by the renowned chef Patricia Courtois, is based around the winery’s organic vegetable garden and agro-ecological farm, part of a 0KM philosophy. Guests can also enjoy local produce at breakfast and tea including homemade dairy products, grape and wine-based desserts during the harvest and humitas when maize is in season.
Day visits include a wine tasting (with a selection of different flights of wine) and a tour of the James Turrell Museum, dedicated to a unique artist known as the “guru of light and space” where extraordinary artworks from the Colomé owners’ collection are on display.
Reservation is essential because it’s quite a trip to get there (5 hours from the city of Salta) across the mountain tops and tours are unavailable without one.
In Cafayate in the heart of the Calchaquí Valleys, one finds one of the prettiest wine hotels in Salta: it belongs to Bodega El Esteco and is housed in a historic building that was once the home of one of the winery’s founders, built in 1892.
With colonial galleries, spacious rooms that respect the original architecture, lovingly tended gardens and a pool, the experience is finished off by meals at the La Rosa restaurant served by Chef Virginia Marín (don’t forget to try the llama carpaccio, the most popular game in northern Argentina), which is also an ideal space in which to sample the wines of Oenologist Alejandro Pepa. These wine hotel in Salta also offers a tour of the winery and tastings while the peaceful nights make for a stay to delight the senses.
Undoubtedly one of the most modern options in the Calchaquí Valleys, located south of Cafayate this hotel is part of La Estancia de Cafayate, with spans over 500 hectares with its own 18 hole golf course, stables, a spa and pool. The elegant restaurant (which serves empanadas, lamb and traditional Argentine asado) is accompanied by a wine bar and a tasting room. In addition to the main building with its rooms that offer excellent views, there are also 20 villas.
In Tolombón, Altaluna Boutique Hotel & Spa is another Calchaquí option, housed in a building that dates back to 1892. Its restaurant offers artisanal cuisine with homemade bread, seasonal preserves, cheeses from local producers, vegetables from the garden, 16-fold empanadas (a local tradition) made in a clay oven, local nuts, nougat and much more.
On weekends, guests can enjoy a traditional asado under ancient trees and wines from the neighboring Bodega Tukma. Trekking, horse rides and walks are also tempting offers.
Viñas de Cafayate is another colonial getaway just a mile and a half from the main square of Cafayate. Rooms here are set in galleries lining an internal patio with a fountain, spacious adobe walls and views of the San Isidro hill and vineyards. The restaurant has its own vegetable garden and serves regional dishes from tamales and humitas to quinoa, Andean potatoes, goat’s cheese, algarroba and more accompanied, of course, by Cafetayano wines.
In Cachi, at a height of 9800 feet, one finds the cabins of Bodega Miraluna, which are built with adobe clay, stones, canes, wood, slate and reeds in the middle of a wild, rural landscape where one can truly appreciate the immensity of the Andes with a glass of wine in hand. It’s the perfect place to try the local wines, which tend to be ripe, concentrated and very expressive. The cabins don’t have a restaurant on site but wine tastings are available.
Now that you’re armed with this list, all that remains is to set out and have a good time.