Salta or Mendoza?

Old Jul 15th, 2005, 08:09 AM
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Salta or Mendoza?

Am planning a trip to Argentina in September. Once we leave BA, focus of the trip is drinking really great wine. The dilemma is whether to concentrate on Salta or Mendoza. Mendoza is well known, but we're also hearing that Salta is producing more interesting vintages. Specific bodega and finca recommendations are also welcome.
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Old Jul 15th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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We've been to Mendoza but not to Salta (that's the next trip). While Mendoza is well known, it definitely isn't over run with wine tourists. In December we visited a number of bodegas:

Catena - the only place where we experienced a large number of other visitors. It was interesting to see, if only to compare the design and feel with Opus One. I like the wines better than I liked the tour, it just seemed very corporate.

Norton - living in Mexico and Brazil, we've had a lot of Norton wines. We didn't expect much from a visit to a large winery that produces cheap, widely distributed wines, but the winery has a long history and the tour was very well done. We were there on the day of the week when the neighbors are allowed to come in through the tiny side door and fill their large containers with table wine, apparently a long standing tradition.

Terraza de los Andes - a big place but we were the only visitors. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and also very patient with our Spanish. The rustic exterior gives no indication of the modern winemaking going on inside. In addition to the usual bottlings, we also tasted (and bought--cheaply) Cheval de los Andes.

Dominio del Plata - this is the Susana Balboa winery, and their living quarters are actually above the offices. (Unfortunately for us, she was away on vacation.) Again, we were the only visitors. We tasted a number of her wines as well as the Ben Marco wines made by her husband.

Achaval-Ferrer - the highlight of the trip, a personal tour of the winery and tasting by Santiago Achaval. Totally amazing to see the rustic production facilities for such fabulous wines and Mr. Achaval could not have been a better host.

Just this past week we had two wines from San Pedro de Yacochuya in the Salta region, both were delicious, so if you make your way to Salta don't miss this one.
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Old Jul 15th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Two wines from the San Pedro de Yacochuya vineyards were recently voted among the top 50 wines of South America...both were cortes, and the Rolland 2000 was the top rated wine on the continent. Clearly on my list of "must visit" sites for the future...

I have not been to the Achaval-Ferrer vineyard, but this bodega produces two of my personal favorites--with the corte Quimera 2000 at the very top of my list...and the Malbec not far behind....

About vineyard tours....La Rural (Rutini, Trumpeter and others) offers an interesting tour that includes a small museum.....Familia Zucardi (Q, Santa Julia, and others) is a modern facility with an outstanding tour, and a newly opened luncheon facilty that serves asado and various wines....excellent food...

My favorite region around Mendoza is Lujan de Cuyo, where most of the excellent reds wine grapes are grown...

If you are looking for a botique wine, try Vinorum Malbec....excellent wine for about 35 pesos....

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Old Jul 16th, 2005, 02:47 AM
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Sorry to interfere this ethilic threads, but this might help

Argentina´s and S. Americas top www site on food n wines link below.
As for magazine in BA try Cuisine et Vins.
I recommend Miguel Brasco reviews / notes regarding wines / winerys. Lots of knowledge, refined and fun to read. A true expert with sharp recomendations.
Top Cuisine specialists too.
Its only in Spanish....


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Old Sep 19th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Thanks for the advice; based on responses we have decided to go to both Mendoza and Salta! We leave on Friday.
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Old Sep 20th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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Suzanne, we're going to Salta/Mendoza in March 2006, so would love a trip report when you return.

Have a great time. We love Argentina.
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