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13 November 2012 / leggypeggy

A world of wine in Cafayate

Nanni Winery

Cynthia shows off wines at the Nanni Estate in Cafayate

Argentina is well known its excellent wines and we had a chance to try them first-hand when we camped in Cafayate in the north.

While Mendoza is the country’s biggest wine producer—making about 75 per cent of the annual output—Cafayate is a more intimate and relaxed way to visit wineries.

Soon after arriving at the campground, Poor John and I headed in to town and the Museum of Wine. Located in an old winery, this museum is a tribute to the wines of the area. It opened fairly recently and it used to be free to enter. Admission now is rather expensive, especially considering that you don’t even get a taste of wine, but it was still interesting to read about the region and see the old wine-making equipment.

They are quite proud of the fact that, at 1750 metres, Cafayate has some of the highest vineyards in the world, which they claim helps them to produce more complex wines. They also credit their 340 sunny days per day.

Museum of Wine, Cafayate

Pottery wine casks at the Museum of Wine

Torrontés is one of their claims to fame. This grape variety, brought from Spain many years ago, is used to make a white wine that fools you. It smells sweet and fruity—almost like apple juice—but has a lovely dry finish.

I got to taste it the next day when we visited the Nanni Winery. Cynthia offered four wines for tasting—torrontés, a rosé, a red (tannat) and a late harvest white.

I usually don’t care for sweet or dessert wines, but that late harvest white blew my socks off. It reminded me of the sensational icewine I tried in Toronto. I didn’t buy a bottle, simply because I knew it would be impossible to keep it cold, but I can still savour the taste.

I did buy a bottle of the tannat, which is tucked away in my locker for a special occasion.

Everyone did some wine-tasting on our second day in Cafayate. Those who hired bikes to travel farther afield were challenged by a 6-kilometre hill they had to ride up. They swear the ride down made it all worth it, but I have my doubts. 🙂

Nanni Winery

Rael, Louisa and Lauren sample the late harvest white at Nanni Winery

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