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Most museums in this area are free or request a small donation (usually no more than $1/70p). Even more interesting are the different workshops producing handicrafts from the area.

Visiting the Wineries

There are approximately 25 wineries to visit in the area, some palatial-style villas, others rustic boutique garages. All are within easy reach of the town and can be visited by bicycle or taxi. Some unexpectedly shut down their guided visits, for whatever reasons, so it is always wise to call ahead. The most popular time to visit is from February to early April, when the harvest occurs. Most wineries are open Monday to Saturday.

Bodegas Etchart, Finca La Rosa, 3km (1 3/4 miles) from Cafayate, on RN 40 (tel. 3868/421310), is owned by the French wine giant Pernod-Ricard and is one of the region's most important, producing chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon, Tannat, Torrontes (a Muscatel-like white), and Malbec (a dry red). One-hour guided tours and wine tastings are offered Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm, and Saturday from 9am to noon. Finca Las Nubes, El Divisadero, Alto Valle de Cafayate, 5km (3 miles) from Cafayate (tel. 3868/422129) is one of Argentina's smallest vineyards and is family-run, producing some young but excellent wines. The rustic facility is located a few kilometers up a dirt road from the center of town and provides lunches with reservations. Wine tours and tastings are free of charge Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm; call for an appointment outside these hours or to arrange for a meal. Michel Torino, Finca La Rosa, 3km (1 3/4 miles) from Cafayate, on RN 40 (tel. 3868/155-66019 [cell]; www.micheltorino.com.ar), is a beautiful, hacienda-style complex that also houses the luxury wine lodge Patios de Cafayate. The winery is also known as Bodega El Esteco and it produces the Don David Torrontes, one of the best examples of Argentina's signature white grape. They offer guided tours Monday to Friday from 10am to 6:30pm and Saturday 10am to noon. Bodegas El Porvenir de los Andes, Córdoba 32, Cafayate (tel. 3868/422007; www.bodegaselporvenir.com), is one of my favorite wineries, producing rich concentrated reds. The winery is a handsome town house with courtyard, located 2 blocks from the plaza. While there, pip for the $10 (£6.80) tasting of Laborum, one of the best reds coming out of Salta. San Pedro de Yacochuya, RP 2, RN 40 (tel. 3868/421233; www.sanpedrodeyacochuya.com.ar), is a boutique operation started by the Etchart family when they sold their larger winery. It is basically a tidy shed at the end of a dirt road lined by cactus 3km (2 miles) from the town; yet it is producing excellent Torrontes and Malbec from some of the highest vineyards in the world. Visits here are patchy in quality. If you are lucky to meet either Arnaldo or Marcos Etchart you will enjoy their bonhomie, made famous in the documentary Mondovino. You can even have lunch in the adjacent family home. Reservations are required, and opening hours can be erratic. Bodega Nanni, Silverio Chavarria 151 (tel. 3868/421527; www.bodegananni.com), is a traditional winery that, in recent years, has concentrated on making purely organic wine. The old-world industrial-style facility is located in town, 2 blocks from the plaza. Bodega Domingo Hermanos, Nuestra Señora del Rosario s/n, Cafayate (tel. 3868/421225; www.domingohermanos.com), is a famous local producer making decent table wines. It is interesting to visit to see the old-style way of making wine. Located .5km (1/3 mile) from the plaza, it is open every day 9am to 5pm and is popular with tour groups. Vasija Secreta, RN 40 (tel. 3868/421850), is a large bodega that also houses a small but interesting museum with winemaking equipment that dates back to 1857. It is located on the outskirts of the town, a short walk from the plaza. It is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 4pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.