During my trip to the Cafayate wine region in the Northern Argentinian province of Salta, I visited a variety of wine producers delivering exceptional wines. A brand new winery, a traditional winery, a boutique premium cellar with gorgeous views, and a vineyard that produces all organic wines.
Watch Here, on our Instagram, the highlights of my trip to the Cafayate wine region.
But the area has one lesser-known gem, Colome Winery & Estancia — the oldest winery in Argentina with exceptional high-altitude wines and one of the highest vineyards in the world.
I love wines, and I have been drinking Colome wines for years. It is one of my favorite wines, and Colome was a place I wanted to visit long ago. I was right. It is a pearl lost in the world; and a place I fell in love with Colome the moment I got there.
If you love reading about unique spots off the beaten path, join me on this mini tour of this hidden gem in Salta province, It will not disappoint you!
The story of Colome, the modern winery, the scene where it is located, and the Gorgeous boutique hotel with nine guest rooms and an art museum make this a unique place to visit in South America.
Just one thing that I want to mention before telling you all about my experience in Colome. I was not “invited” by Colome, so all the comments and reviews here are my genuine opinion.
✨Navigate to where you want to go
1. Colome Winery since 1831 – Its history
2. How to get there & when to go
3. Colome Estancia hotel
4. Activities in the Estancia, wine tasting, hiking, and James Turrell Museum.
5. Dining Experience in Colome
Colome Winey since 1831 – Its history
I love visiting places with a story behind them; where you feel you can go back in time
…and Colome is all about that.
Bodega Colome was founded in 1831 and is Argentina’s oldest continually working winery. The historic vineyards were planted some 190 years ago and still produce delicious wines.
This is the Old Adobe winery at the entrance of Estancia Colome. This winery was a working winery until the modern winery was built, and you can still visit it during your stay at the Estancia.
The past of Colomé goes back to 1831. Nicolás Severo de Isasmedi y Echalar, the last colonial governor in Salta, founded it. His daughter, Ascención, married to José Dávalos, imported Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon vines from France in 1854 and was a true pioneer and visionary who laid the very foundations of the winery that prospects today.
The Isasmendi-Dávalos families managed the winery until 2001 when Swiss businessmen Donald and Úrsula Hess acquired it.
Today, the winery is run by Larissa and Christoph Ehrbar (Ursula Hess’s daughter and son-in-law); they are the second generation of the Swiss family who works to keep their legacy alive: creating extraordinary high-altitude wines through sustainable viticulture practices.
How to get there and when to go, and how long to stay
How to Get to Colome Winery
Estancia Colome is located near Molinos in northwest Argentina. We took an Aerolineas Argentina flight from Buenos Aires to Salta to get to Colome. It is a 2-hour flight.
There are 260 kilometers and almost five hours –the real measure of the distance– of wild beauty from Salta to Colomé, passing through Cachi and Molinos.
Is there a faster way to get to Colome?
No, but If there were a faster way than a car to get to Bodega Colomé, you would save time and lose one of the best experiences of the visit!
The road from Salta is long, BUT, we went through breathtaking landscapes, which made the ride highly enjoyable.
We pass thought The Cardones National Park and see lots and lost of Cardones growing upwards like outstretched arms.
And take a look at the Astonishing views all the way long La Cuesta del Obispo!
AND The arbitrary scenery of Los Colorados…
It’s a long ride from Salta to Colome, but the views are amazing!
The best time to visit
You can visit Colome any time of the year, but the biggest rains are concentrated between December and February… so I’d recommend avoiding February and March, as these months experience the heaviest downpours.
The rest of the year, the weather is similar, is warm and dry during the day, but the temperature drops at night.
I visited Colome this autumn and for me is the best time to go. We had beautiful weather — around 27 degrees Celsius in “Autumn” and the colors of the vineyards, are stunning.
How Long to Stay?
Don’t stay less than two days.
This is the minimum to absorb the atmosphere. . Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can just arrive, spend one night and depart next day. The journey in and out means you wouldn’t have any time to experience what’s available. We spent 2 nights, and I regret we didn’t stay longer.
Colome Estancia & hotel
We arrive a bit late at the estancia, but they were waiting for us. They welcomed us with a glass of wine and some empanadas Salteñas in the library before dinner.
After a beautiful meal and some delicious wines from the vineyard, we retired to our room and lit the fire, and occasionally went outside to do a bit of stargazing. It was just perfect!
My room at the Estancia
In the morning we wake up with this amazing view from our room.
The estancia has only 9 rooms. Our suite was decorated in elegant hacienda-style design and had a private terrace where we could enjoy the spectacular views of the Vineyards and the Calchaquies valleys.
Our room has a half bathroom, and a main bath that was quite luxurious, with his and hers sinks and a bathtub.
Other amenities in our room were a beautiful private patio, a nice minibar and the romantic fireplace.
Other amenities in Colome Winery
The Estancia has a good gym, and a nice library/reading room and a beautiful swimming pool overlooking the vineyards. The WiFI is a challenge —so it is an ideal place to disconnect from the rest of the world as you only have WiFi in the patio and no network service.
My morning walk around the garden in Colome. I love the silence and the quietness you can find in Colome.
Our activities during our stay
Our stay included the winery tour, a wine tasting and a visit of the museum. All activities are highly recommended!
Hiking around the Estancia
The estancia offers different hiking circuits with different difficulties. My husband and I love hiking, so we did 2 of the trails. One with this gorgeous views of the Calchaquies Valleys and another one around the oldest vineyards in the winery.
After a long morning hiking, we have our lunch at the Estancia restaurant – Provoleta or grilled provolone, cheese soufle and Colome Autentico Malbec wine..after this trip one of my fav wines from Colome!
Colome was completely renovated and revitalized by Donald Hess, who brought the winery in 2021. Its vineyards, at 6,000 to 10,000 feet above see level, include vines that are 160 years old. They are proud and also “blessed” to still have vines that grow on their original rootstock.
Colome focuses in Argentina’s two traditional varietals, Malbec and Torrontes, producing wines that have received international accolades. The age of the vines, the biodynamic practices and the altitude combine to create this amazing wines.
Watch this short video to see the new winery and part of our wine tasting.
Visit to James Turrell Museum
Last, and for me, the main course served in Colome, is the James Turrell Museum. It incredible how they have built something like this in this far away place!
Turrell’s works, which are all about light, is captivating – especially the sky space visit which takes place around sunset. A real must-do Zen experience. No pictures or video are allowed inside, so you will need to go and see what’s inside!
The dining experience in Colome Winery
We had lunch and dinner always at the Estancia. The entire menu at estancia Colome is based around homegrown seasonal products from their own organic garden and farm. Even the ice cream, the milk, the homemade cheeses they are all made from animals raised in the estancia.
They call it farm-to-table menu. It is a simple, but a delicious menu made with the local flavors of each season available in the area. Patricia Courtois, winner of the Grand Prix Baron B, is the cheff that has created a menu specifically for Colomé.
Of course, the wine is pretty spectacular. And all our meals, were perfect blend of wine to pair with our food. The Malbec is wonderful as well as their Torrontes. Try the Special white Misterioso, you will only find it in Colome as they have a really short production of this wine.
All too soon my stay came to an end in Colome, and it was time to leave the calm, cool world of Wander. I bid farewell to the colonial luxury and air of tranquillity and history in breath here.
This place is a must visit if you are a wine lover looking for serenity and calmness in a stunning setting of extraordinary nature.
My last recommendation, if you plan to visit Colome, is to book in advance. The Estancia is exclusive, and only has 9 rooms, so booking must be done in advance as the service is quite personal.
As you know, we can help you design a perfect custom made trip to Argentina with these off the beaten path destinations and lodging in mind.
So, set your booking dates now to find a time that will allow you to explore the best of South America. If you have your vacation dates but are wondering, “Oh, where do I begin?” We can help: Start here.
Co-founder at Across South America
PS – Want to Learn More About the South American wine Regions? DOWNLOAD OUR SA Food & Wine Book 2023/24 ❤️ a courtesy for you!