The Hacienda Colomé (by Swiss entrepreneur Donald M. Hess) is not only worth a visit for its wines, but for the special place. The next small village is about 45 minutes away by car. From Salta you can do the zigzagging roads by going over the top of a pass (Cuesta del Obispo) and “Parque Nacional de los Cardones” about 5 to 6 hours, depending on road conditions (partially dirt roads). This means that one does not go there spontaneously for a winetasting. For a long time we had the idea to include the Bodega Colomé on our next trip to Argentina because we know friends that stayed there. Since the hotel has only 9 rooms, this was the first thing we booked for our trip and planned everything else including flights only afterwards. It was really worth it. It is a place with a certain magic. You can relax, get some peace and quiet, do walks and besides; taste the best wines of the region. We spent New Year’s Eve at the bodega and had a really wonderful evening with people from France, Brazil, Switzerland and Argentina. Bodega Colomé grows their own fruits, vegetables and herbs in their garden and cooks only regional and seasonal meals. The staff conjured up a delicious multi-course menu for the guests that evening, including wine pairing. At 12 o’clock we all toasted to the new year on the terrace under the roof of stars and there was – still on top – a huge dessert buffet. Those who make it to Colomé should stay at least two or three days, as the James Tyrell Art Museum is also very worth seeing.
After our long drive from Colome (near Molinos in the north) to Mendoza (1200 km in two days) we were looking forward to a bigger town and a restaurant where we might have pasta. We found it in La Lucia. The pasta AND also the meat from the charcoal grill were excellent. They also have a few tables on the terrace. But at 35 degrees celcius still in the evening, we preferred to sit inside. We drank a Malbec wine from the Bodega “El Enemigo”, which we had on our list to visit in two days.
For me personally this restaurant is one of the best in the world when it comes to meat dishes (Parillada). We have been there on one of our fomer trips to Buenos Aires. If you have never eaten meat in Argentina you might think I am exagerating and that there is good meat everywhere. For me Argentina has the perfect combination of very good quality meat (from the pampa), big charcoal grills, few salt, pieces under 300gr don’t even come on the table and as side dishes just fresh salad of tomatoes, lettuce or carrots and a good bottle of Malbec. What more do you need? Something that might be worth mentioning is the cooking level. The Argentineans tend to like the meat more well done. Therefore you should order your piece “jugoso” (medium/rate). Try also blood sausage (morcilla) or a piece other than the fillet, you will love it.
Well, officially you can reserve tables at Don Julio, but it is always booked out. You better try it at noon or in the evening rather early or very late after 11pm. Even if there are many tourists at this wonderful place it is worth a visit.