Sommelier Alejandro Iglesias picks his top Cafayate restaurants, hotels and shops...
Located at Bodega El Esteco, this hotel dazzles with its vaulted galleries, meeting rooms and colonial-style gardens. The spacious and luxurious rooms capture a 19th-century ambience with knitted fabrics, silverwork and antique furniture. Also, guests can enjoy a beautiful swimming pool and an exclusive wine-spa. www.patiosdecafayate.com
A member of the international chain of luxury hotels, this is the most exclusive accommodation option in Cafayate. There are 12 suites in the main building, and 20 private bungalows surrounded by vineyards. Ideal for golf fans, it is home to an 18-hole course; the hotel also offers horse riding, and a full-service health centre. www.gracehotels.com
Tolombón is a small Calchaquí town located 18km to the south of Cafayate. Situated on route 40, this hotel features two buildings with spacious, comfortable rooms. Enjoying breakfast or lunch on one of its patios, overlooking the valleys, is an unforgettable experience, as is lounging by the outdoor pool. www.altalaluna.com
Located on the road up to Yacochuya, the winery has one of the most beautiful restaurants in the valleys with a panoramic view of Cafayate and the vineyards. The menu created by chef Gabriel Rodríguez features regional recipes where the ingredients are the true stars. www.piattellivineyards.com
The hotel is home to the trendiest restaurant in Cafayate. The kitchen is run by Gerardo Santander, who designed a menu of Andean inspiration with fresh regional products such as trout, llama meat and quinoa. The service and the atmosphere both match the haute cuisine they offer. www.gracehotels.com
Fronting Cafayate’s square, there are several grills and typical spots. Terruño stands out among them thanks to its menu of regional dishes influenced by international cuisine. Despite the global influences, grilled meats are the speciality here, mainly skirt steak. Also be sure to try the pasta filled with rabbit meat and goat cheese. www.terruno.todowebsalta.com.ar
Vino Tinto Vinoteca
Great for browsing, this wine shop offers a comprehensive selection of wines produced along the Calchaquí Valleys. Not only does it feature the most renowned labels, but also lesser-known gems produced in the region. Güemes Norte St. 141, Cafayate
The jams and sweets made with the fruits of the area are a Calchaquí must. It’s impossible not to be tempted by the taste of the glazed nuts, the cayote (black-seed squash) jam and the cuaresmillos (small peaches) in syrup sold at this small shop.
A few minutes away from the central square, the Domingo family produces a delicious variety of goat cheeses in a small dairy farm where it offers tours and tastings. It follows traditional recipes and also makes flavoured cheeses using spices from the area. www.cabrasdecafayate.todowebsalta.com.ar
Alejandro Iglesias is a sommelier, wine writer and educator who co-founded the Argentinian wine app Vinomanos.