Wine CountryMay 21 in Argentina
Cafayate has been raved about by many of the travellers we've met, and is the wine capital of the north. Its not a large town but is surrounded by vineyards, that cover the flat valley floor and hemmed in by steep sides. The soil is predominantly sand which sits on a solid rock base, and the area receives a measly 20mm of rain a year - who would have known this is perfect for growing wine grapes?
The wine here is quite different to the normal 2-4-1 stuff we all buy at home. It's very full bodied and very strong (14.5%) - if you describe the stuff at home as rounded, then I'd said this has some pretty nobbily corners on it. It's due to the altitude (~1,500m) which causes large temperature differences between day and night (~20°C) so the grapes have thick skins and are extra sweet. You'd be thinking it's easily a 20+ quid (£ for the foreigners) bottle when you'd only pay 5/6 bucks (£3/4) for it.
We had a great tasting at Porvenir Bodega - a morning visit due to the crazy opening hours I described in the last post, which set us up nicely for the day. Prices are incredible here at around 6 bucks a bottle for a decent tipple and we lugged the inevitable case back to the van. Lunch was a fantastic selection of fresh empanadas, amazing cheeses and delectable dried meats - all washed down with a couple of bottles of course!
There was also a great microbrewery on the main square but we were a little disappointed we couldn't find the same standard of restaurant as we'd quickly become accustomed to.
Sam and Don had to head off as they were heading back to Canada for a few months in the(ir) summer. Strange to think we'd met them on a beach in El Salvador exactly a year ago, and we'd really enjoyed travelling with them for the past month or so.
We did another tasting at a vineyard just out of town, and we could choose the wines from a large selection. This meant we could compare their cheaper and premium ranges, and surprisingly we often preferred the cheaper ones. The tasting was accompanied by a huge bowl of delicious cheese and view across the sun drenched vineyards was gorgeous. Also the $5 tasting was free of you bought a $6 bottle of wine, which obviously didn't need much thinking about, although liked this stuff so much we manged to buy another case!Read more