Today we drove through the Quebrada de los Conchas (Gorge of Shells or Shell Ravine). Geologists have found sea shells and other fossils in the rock, proving that the area was once under water, then forced upward when the Andes were formed 90-60 million years ago during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras.
There are numerous incredible rock formations all along the quebrada. We stopped a lot, and took about 5 hours to make the 200km drive.
Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat Canyon) is a huge crack in the cliff.
El Anfiteatro – a natural amphitheater carved into the cliff
The Calchaqui Valley is the 2nd largest wine producing region in Argentina. At 5521 feet above sea level, the area has a very particular microclimate, with warm sunny days and cool nights, allowing the production of small grapes with high concentration of sugars.
White Torrontes grapes are mostly grown in Argentina and are affectionately nicknamed ‘the liar’ – the wine smells very fruity and sweet but tastes dry and tart.
We stopped by Piattelli Vineyard for a short break before checking into our hotel in Cafayate. The bodega feels very much like a Tuscan villa!
Our hotel, Grace Cafayate, is just outside of town on its own vineyard.
Tomorrow we drive to Seclantes for more views and an interesting house stay. We may or may not have internet for a few days.