Discover the Andes

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by Anna Hufnagl and Hannah Platt

General information

After the long and exciting drive through the Quebrada de las Conchas, a wide valley - or even system of valleys - opens up quite suddenly, known as the Valles Calchaquies. The small town of Cafyate is said to be one of the most sunny places in Argentina, as it is protected against the humid air from the eastern side. Föhn effects result in dry and sunny conditions throughout the year. These conditions are favourable for two branches of economy, which can be combined conveniently: the cultivation of grapes, and tourism. Anna Alpaca will now lead you through the Finca Las Nubes and introduce you to the secrets of grape cultivation and the production of wine.

Click into the title image to view the Finca Las Nubes from different perspectives. You can also gain an impression of how the valley looks like, and why it is so dry and sunny here.

Anna Alpaca and the wine

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Explore Cafayate together with Anna Alpaca by clicking on one of the arrows or into the graphics. But be aware that Anna does not speak English - only Spanish and German.

Welcome to Argentina! Anna Alpaca from San Pedro de Atacama has now arrived at Cafayate, a small town in the district of the same name, located in the province of Salta in northwestern Argentina. Less than two per cent of Argentina's grape cultivation takes place in this small, but fine wine-producing area. Argentina is South America's leading wine growing country, and the sixth largest producer of wine worldwide. Here in Cafayate, wine is cultivated between 1500 m and 2400 m asl., higher than in most other wine-growing regions in the world. The small bodega Finca Las Nubes, which Anna Alpaca visits now, only produces 30,000 litres of wine each year. It is a small, family-based enterprise. The grapes are harvested manually in February. Many friends, volunteers, and also tourists support the family, and make the harvest a party. The wine is produced organically, without use of pesticides. Instead, natural substances are applied in order to avoid problems with fungi and other pests.

Click on the title symbol to learn more abut the camelids of the Andes!

References and links

Wikipedia article on Cafayate [Access source]

Wikipedia article on grape cultivation in Argentina [Access source]

This contribution was revised, extended, and translated from German by Martin Mergili.