AT A GLANCE:
Position: No 25
Name of wine estate: Bodega Colomé
Wine region: Salta
Standout points: The oldest working winery in Argentina – and home to second-highest vineyards in the world
Winemaker: Thibaut Delmotte
Wine style: High-altitude, old-vine Malbec and Torrontes
On top of the world
Surrounded by mountains, skirting the sky, you will take your wine adventures to new heights – in more ways than one – with a visit to Bodega Colomé. Wine and art converge in this extraordinary alpine oasis high up in the Upper Calchaqui Valley. Despite its remoteness, the Colomé estate receives more than 9,000 visitors every year and encompasses a cellar door, restaurant, the impressive James Turrell Museum (designed by the artist himself and containing nine light installations) and a nine-room boutique hotel.
Built to last
Founded in 1831 by the Spanish Governor of Salta, Nicolás Severo de Isasmendi y Echalar, Colomé lays claim to being the oldest winery in all of Argentina – and, also, amid stiff competition, the one with the vineyards at the highest altitude, at up to 3,100m above sea level. In 1854, Nicolás’s daughter, Ascensión, brought the first French pre-phylloxera Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines to Colomé. Grapes from three vineyards planted in that same year are still used in the production of Colomé Reserva wines. The current owner is art collecting business tycoon Donald Hess, who bought the farm in 2001.
Worth the effort
Bodega Colomé is located in the heart of the Calchaqui Valley in Salta Province. It will take a not inconsiderable three-hour drive from Cafayate to reach the estate, but the effort will be worth it. The best option would be to spend a few days in the estate’s rustic-style boutique hotel (complete with restaurant, reading room, swimming pool and gym), nestled between grapevines and cactus plants. While staying at the estate, you can rely on the staff to do all they can to tailor itineraries to best suit your needs.
A great escape
Surrounded by the towering peaks of the Andes mountains, it is easy to forget the rest of the world while gazing at the snow-covered summit of 6,380m Nevado de Cachi from the hotel terrace – sipping a chilled glass of Colomé Torrontés, naturally.