Visiting northern Argentina
Ever since a trip back in 2000 to the north of Argentina, I've been hooked. With its indigenous culture, beautiful red mountains, and tranquilo vibe, the only thing that could make the north better is wine. Oh wait, wine there is. Wineries in Cafayate have long been famous for making the best Torrontés available, but the quality of its reds are quickly improving as well. Bodega Mounier/Finca las Nubes is a favorite winery in Cafayate, but we visited some other interesting ones as well. Interestingly, most wineries in Cafayate are producing Tannat, a varietal made famous by Uruguay and seldom found in the rest of Argentina.
What is a splurge-worthy wine?
It seems that one reason many people are attracted to wine from the Spanish-speaking world--Chile, Argentina, Spain, and Uruguay--is because they are generally extremely economical. You can get a great bottle of wine for $10 and even less. Since most people want to spend around $10-$15 for a bottle of wine, I'm defining a splurge as anything above $15. While there are some that are significantly more than that, the most expensive bottle I'm recommending is $50.
Price to quality
Sure a $100 bottle of wine is probably good. It's probably great. But is it worth the price? Is it really that much better than a different $25 bottle, will you really get $75 more enjoyment out of it...which would take 20 hours of teaching English in Argentina to pay for?
Visiting Finca las Nubes
First charmed by Mounier when tasting its incredible Torrontés in Mendoza, we jumped at the opportunity to visit the winery, known by both Mounier and Finca las Nubes, and located in beautiful Cafayate in the north of Argentina.
Eleven years old, this boutique winery makes affordable and wonderful wines. The only drawback for North American consumers is its export ratio: 90% of the production remains within the country while a tiny 10% is exported. Since the winery makes a mere 50,000 bottles annually, not much ends up on wine shop shelves in the US.