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Cafayate Wine Tasting

View High Altitude Landscapes Tour - Bolivia, Chile & Argentina 2023 on Grete Howard's travel map.

I did not have a good night last night – every time I laid down, I felt like I was drowning in mucus, and I was up a couple of times with an upset tummy.

We are having an easy day today, so after a really good breakfast, I return to bed for another snooze.

Strike Action

At 11:30, Gastón picks us up to visit a winery for a degustation. It should be a quick and easy journey, but the local teachers are on strike and holding a demonstration, blocking the road and burning tyres for attention. We see the smoke long before we realise what it is – our initial thoughts are that it is from an accident.
There is a long, long queue in both directions, and a bus trying to get through this way. We see many people walking towards us, carrying luggage. Others order a taxi to meet them on this side of the protesters.


Gastón turns the car around and heads up a small side street, hoping to find it meets up with the main road on the other side. It does. We're on our way again, and will only be slightly late for our appointment. He has already phoned ahead to warn them.

Burbujas de Alture Bødega


We are met by Tanya, the daughter of the owner of the vineyard, and first of all, she takes us down to the plantation, explaining about the varieties they grow (Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Torrontes), when they are pruned (in June and July), and the time they are ready for harvesting (usually between January and April.


They also grow some varieties of grapes for eating, which they sell at the local market. The grapes for eating are harvested by hand, whereas those that are destined for bottles, are collected using machinery.

Workers heading off

Later we visit inside the bottling plant, where Tanya explains to us about the fermentation process, and how the bottles are stored upside down so that the sediment collects in the neck of the bottle.

You can clearly see the sediment in this bottle

The bottles are given a quarter turn each day, and after 3-4 weeks, they cool the very top of the bottle to freeze the sediment, which then drops like a stone when the bottle is opened (and immediately turned up the correct way, of course, to avoid any of the precious liquid to escape).

The A-frame holds the bottles to be turned

Bottles in storage

The cork going in

A couple of their finished products

Wine Tasting & Lunch

Lunch is included in the tour today, and is served at the winery, along with the opportunity of sampling the produce, of course.


Starter: quinoa and tomato from their own farm, cooked with sparkling wine.


To accompany this, we have a choice of white or pink Torrontes from the Tinquiao range, which means 'tipsy' in Spanish. We try both, of course.


The main course is beef cooked for several hours in a rich Malbec sauce, served with onions and different types of Andean potatoes. There is also a homemade mango chutney on the side. Two different reds are available to try with this, a Cabernet and a Malbec.


Just as we have finished the main course, the chef comes running out with a mobile phone and heads for me. “Phone call for you” she says. For me? I expect it is Gastón letting us know there is another roadblock and that he is going to be late picking us up. “Hello Grete, I just wanted to welcome you to our vineyard and home,” says the deep male voice on the other end of the phone. In perfect Norwegian. I am flabbergasted, and taken very much by surprise, especially as he sounds just like my late uncle Harald. It is a while since I last conversed in my mother tongue, but Andrew Høy, the owner of the wineries we are visiting, is easy to get on with. Apparently, his father came over from Norway and settled here, and Andrew learned to speak the language as a child. I guess the ø in the name of the bodega should have given me a little inkling.

For dessert, we are served a barbarois made with sparkling wine with marmalade from mature grapes. The last tasting is their sparkling wine.


We buy a bottle of sparkling wine as a gift for Gastón to take home to his wife.

After this marathon eating and drinking session, we spend the rest of the afternoon chilling in the hotel.

Bad Brothers

Gastón has been very good at finding interesting places for us to eat on this trip, and this evening is no exception. The restaurant, with its curious name, is very popular this evening, and only has one table left, which is in a private room off the main outdoor courtyard. The room has a table large enough for eight, and is used for storing bottles of wine and vats of beer.

I choose a dish called Extreme Altitude Blue Potato Gnocchi, which is creamy and tasty (and makes a welcome change from beef), while David goes for a burger. Unfortunately, I forget all about taking photos this evening, until we get to the dessert – a chocolate mousse with berries and marshmallows.


And so a day of eating and drinking has come to an end. I love how varied the itinerary has been on this trip, and it is not over yet. Thank you Undiscovered Destinations for organising this.


Posted by Grete Howard 15:03 Archived in Argentina Tagged grapes farm argentina wine lunch winery south_america demonstration farming vinyards quinoa cafayate strike adventure_travel wine_tasting cabernet torrontes malbec phone_call wine_tour undiscovered_destinations strike_action burbujas_de_alture_bødega wine_producers high_altitude_wine wine_degustation bottling_plant sediment wine_flight home_made_food sparkling_wine bad_brothers

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what a tough luck you ran into a strike, but you made it and the tasting looked good with food and everything! As always the pictures are beautiful of the vineyard.

by Ils1976

Thank you so much, Ils, and apologies for not replying to all your other very kind comments yet - I have only just got back from a two-month trip around Asia. :)

by Grete Howard

That sounds like an excellent winery visit!

by ToonSarah

What is there to apologise about ... looking forward to reading all about that as well! You are a true inspiration when it comes to travelling. The same goes for Sarah, you both are a galls true inspiration, that is for sure. I love to read all your blogs and can only hope to see it with my own eyes in the future. Sadly enough Ihaven't got so many days off from work, but I manage to see as much as I possibly can! :) :) :)

by Ils1976

Thank you, Sarah and Ils. ♥ We are lucky that we can travel as much as we do, being retired.

by Grete Howard

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