Argentina is famous for its prestigious wines, which are produced on some of the most scenic vineyards in the western world. Around Mendoza and Salta many of these estates' graceful historic or contemporary houses and mansions are open to visitors. Spend a few days at one of these Argentinean countryside retreats, relaxing among the sunlit vines or taking gentle exercise on a bike or horse.
Salta on the edge of the Andean foothills in the northwest and Mendoza on the eastern flanks of the Andes further south are two of the most popular areas for visitors.
Mendoza is a pleasant city and the gateway to one of the most picturesque and accessible mountain passes to Chile and its capital, Santiago. But it is the vineyards that provide the biggest draw.
Around the city of Mendoza the ‘Land of Sunshine and Good Wine’ is gourmet country: there are several high quality estancias and vineyards offering sophisticated food and wine sampling in a tranquil countryside setting. The climate is especially healthy and the standard of cuisine is often exceptionally high.
We feature two favourite estancias in this region:
Cavas Wine Lodge
Lares de Chacra
The landscapes and cultures around colonial Salta have more in common with their Andean neighbours than other regions of Argentina. There’s a high altiplano here, with salt flats and rugged mountains. Ancient villages nestle amid oases in the arid, multi-coloured canyons while fertile valleys produce grapes for the region’s distinctive wines. Our recommended hotel base for visiting the vineyards in the Calchaquies Valley is Patios de Cafayate.
The vineyards around both Mendoza and Salta are also ideal for independent exploration by hire car.
Argentina on the Road
For more inspiration to visit this glorious area, see the following most enjoyable article from the archive of our magazine Papagaio