Tag Archives: Northwest

TASTING NORTHERN WINE IN SALTA

A special location and terroir makes of this winery the first to harvest in the Calchaquí Valleys.


The winery Estancia Los Cardones is located in Tolombón, province of Salta. This is the northernmost wine-growing area in Argentina, located south of the city of Cafayate at 1,700 masl, located at the top of the eastern slope of the Calchaquí Valleys.

The facility, inaugurated in early 2017, was built entirely of stone extracted from the quarries of the same estate. In fact, if you look at the drawing of the walls in the cellar you can easily have a notion of the soil that makes up the vineyard.

We propose you to visit this particular winery taking a guided tour following the path that makes the grape until it becomes a wine that reflects the unique characteristics of this terroir of Tolombón.

Starting with the vineyards, we will learn everything about this peculiar soil. The terroir of Estancia Los Cardones is unique in the valleys as it is rocky, very shallow, with abundant chipped slate stone on the surface and full of disintegrated mica.

The mostly planted strain is the Malbec, however you can also find lots with Petit Verdot, Grenache, Cabernet and Marsanne.

Another curious fact that makes this winery special is that the orientation of the vineyards, the intense sun and the stony soil favour the earliest maturity of the grape, being the first farm to harvest in all the Calchaquí Valleys.

We will continue into the winery to learn about the production process and end up in the cellar, where we will take in how the wine is aged to become the exquisite final product.

To finish the visit, we will go to the tasting room to taste three wines from the winery and check on our own the characteristic flavor of this special terroir from the north.

The golden clasp, it is possible to enjoy a lunch with empanadas, barbecue and a regional dessert!


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Duration: 2-2.30 hours
  • Operates: Wednesday to Saturday from 10 to 18 hs (last tour at 17 hs). Sunday from 9 to 13 hs (last tour at 12 hs). Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
  • Includes: guided tour of the vineyard and winery facilities, wine tasting and lunch as described.
  • Not included: transfers.

 

DISCOVER THE UNEXPLORED IN SALTA

A landscape that refers to the farthest past on a trip to the center of the earth in Seclantás, the only town in the Salta Valley that is on the other side of the Calchaquí River.


The Acsibi caves are about 20 kilometers from Seclantás, a town in the Calchaquí Valleys, in Salta. You get there by national route 40, entering the Finca Montenieva.

Fido Abán, owner of the estate, and his son René are in charge of taking visitors to the red canyons of Acsibi, located within this private territory about 10 km wide and about 30 long.

It is a place still little known, which almost nobody visits on their first trip to the Valleys. A magical and very different landscape, to which you must dedicate a whole day.

Fido says he was the first of his family to discover the caves when he was eight years old. While the others hunted guanacos in the canyon, he explored the terrain bordering mountains, until he hit upon passages between the rock and reached a small valley of caves.

Very early in the morning, we depart up the mountain in a 4×4 truck. We drive 12 kilometers along the rocky bed of a dry river. When the track disappears, we get off and begin a 5-kilometer hike.

We walk for about two hours through a magnificent red ravine of sandy soil with the most unlikely forms, to finally enter the caves that were once part of the Hacienda de Urbina, when the Malcachiscos Indians washed gold for the Spaniards.

Getting to Acsibi is to time travel. You can see the old and worn tracks where the colony’s carts passed. This area – practically unexplored from the archaeological point of view – is part of the Inca and pre-Inca road system that was used by the Spaniards during the conquest in the connection of the Río de la Plata with Peru.

This fantasy valley of fluctuating forms, shadow and light invites your imagination to play and find the resemblance to the silhouettes. A natural labyrinth with passages between giant rocks and the magical caves that Fido believes were used as ritual sites by the native people of the area. As it is also a place that usually concentrates lightning during thunderstorms, he named them Acsibi; which means something like “the place where the light or either the fire is”, in the Cacán language.

After going through and exploring this ancient and mysterious environment, we take a picnic break before hiking back the same path to the vehicle. 

When in the North, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit a place in the Calchaquí Valleys where history is mixed with the geographical beauties of the area, all in a family’s “backyard”.

 


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Min. 2 – Max. 20 pax.
  • Departs at 9 am from Finca Montenieva, returns at 5 pm.
  • Altitude at the trekking starting point: 2700 masl. Altitude at Trekking ending point 2900 masl.
  • Difficulty: Medium.
  • Type of terrain: walk along the river bank, sand and small loose stones terrain, continuous mild ascent for 5.5km. As the river is crossed back and forward in rainy season wet shoes guaranteed.
  • Includes: Transportation from/To Finca Montenieva, guide and pic-nic. 
  • We recommend wearing long sleeves t-shirt or shirt, sun cap or hat and sunscreen.

 

CLAY AND LIVING CULTURE IN THE NORTH

Learn about the secrets of artisanal pottery and get your hands dirty with the red-colored clay of this enchanting northern town.


Placed in the north-west and almost in the middle of Jujuy province, we find the colorful town of Purmamarca, embraced by the well-known Hill of the Seven Colors. In one of its many mud houses lives Maby, a local artisan that invites us to learn her pottery techniques.

Maby has been a clay artisan for many years and knows a lot about modeling and decoration with local pigments and materials. She is happy to share not only her craft knowledge but also her culture; believing that there is nothing more moving and rewarding than creating something with our own hands.

She warmly welcomes us to her home and workshop to teach us the whole artisanal pottery process, which -according to her- requires enthusiasm and patience.

First, we learn every step to prepare the material that we need to model with, from mud to clay. Then, Maby shows and helps us with the modeling technique to create a small original pottery piece by ourselves, such as bowls, plates, cups or decoration items. Once we’re done, she will take care of the final touches to dry and bake the piece for us.

You can take a piece of art that has been made by someone else and that is already finished. Yours will stay in Purmamarca until the whole process is complete and will be taken by another person that visits Maby some other time after you.

It is not a simple workshop, but the experience of sharing stories, knowledge and techniques of an art that has been alive from our cultural roots. In Maby’s own words: “you will take an indelible memory of my Purma; a space of living culture!”  


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Difficulty: intermediate. No previous experience required.
  • Duration: 2 hours.
  • Min. 2 pax required.
  • Indoor activity. No smoking allowed.
  • Includes materials, apron to protect your clothes, a piece made by someone else as a souvenir of this experience and a snack.
  • Recommendations: bring hands cream, comfortable clothes and shoes.

 

Simplicity, excellence & location in Salta

Right in the heart of of Salta, a new hotel surprised us with the most incredible views of the city and the greatest service.


Located in the commercial and touristic centre in the city of Salta, Brizo Salta Hotel has a privileged location, close by the 9 de Julio square, the ancient Cathedral and Balcarce road, home of the traditional folkloric peñas, the main regional restaurants and the Train to the Clouds departing station.

Under the category of Comfort, Superior and Executive, this nice hotel has overall 70 luminous rooms, functionally decorated with distinguished design details. All of them provide queen or twin beds, independent air conditioning, a 43” smart TV, a desk, safe-box and minibar, electronic locks, shower box, hairdryer and free access to Wi-Fi.

The differences between them: Comfort rooms are 26 mts2, for two people. Superior rooms are 30 mts2 and can accommodate up to three people adding a sofa-bed. Executive rooms are wide and comfortable with 38 mts2, and also can accommodate up to three people. Some of them have a balcony with views to the city.

The building has the most amazing rooftop with the greatest view to the city and mountain background, ideal to relax after a long touring day, watching the sunset.

At Los Cerros Bar & Bistró you may taste drinks and fast food in a warm and pleasant environment.

Also, an outdoors climatized pool with solarium to enjoy the northern sun, a fully equipped gym for those who wish to keep on with their exercise routine, and massage and cosmetic treatments service at your disposal.

Brizo Hotel provides high quality facilities complemented by the professionalism and human warmth of the staff. This is a great lodging choice for those who look for simplicity and excellence.