Want to hang out in Argentina’s wine country this October? I’m in. I jumped at the opportunity to join International Living’s founding publisher Bill Bonner, International Living’s publisher Jackie Flynn, and International Living’s Roving Latin America editor Lee Harrison for a very special event. I hope you can join us…
I haven’t visited Argentina’s wine country before but I’m excited that I’m finally going. We’ll have a half-day investment seminar hosted by Bill…and then we’ll hang out, shoot the breeze, share ideas, play a round of golf (or two) and savor good food and fine wines. Today, I am extending this invitation to Pathfinder readers. If you reserve your spot before September 15th, you’ll save 50% on the price of the event. Read more below…
This Place Looks Amazing: Why not Join Us?
La Estancia is home to a diverse group who share a passion for wine, horses, and golf
What’s better than hanging out with friends and like-minded individuals in one of the world’s most beautiful spots? Not much. That’s why I jumped at the invite to join International Living’s founding publisher Bill Bonner, for the Escape to Cafayate tour, in Argentina’s wine country, this October 13th - 17th.
And, courtesy of the folks at La Estancia de Cafayate, I’m extending that same invitation to you. But before I tell you about the event, let me explain why I jumped at the opportunity to go to Cafayate and use La Estancia as my base.
This will be my first trip to Salta, but the reports I have received from trusted friends and contacts have been nothing short of awesome. When they returned home, it was as if something had changed…forever. They would never look at the world in the same way.
The best of Argentina is here. It is wild with dramatic natural beauty. The traditions span centuries and blend Old World sophistication with a frontier spirit. Amid the vineyards of Cafayate, there is a different concept of time. This is a place where life is not just enjoyed… it’s savored.
La Estancia is home to a diverse community of residents from around the globe who share a passion for wine, horses, and golf. They are committed to honoring the unique heritage of Cafayate, from its pre-Columbian past to its winemaking present, from the rugged tradition of its gauchos to the quiet order of its colonial square.
Located in the province of Salta, this is a place of such intense contrasts, dramatic forms, and natural wonder that even "beautiful" seems too plain a word.
Swift rivers flow through steep-walled canyons onto lush, broad plains. The sun rises and sets over sharp, rugged mountains. Green vines grow in red soil under bright azure skies. Cacti, wildflowers, and grapes grow in the high-altitude, semi-arid climate, where the sun shines more than 300 days a year. From the deep gorges and canyons of the Quebradas de las Conchas (Shell Gorge), to the pastures of rolling scrubland where gauchos still ride among their herds, the beauty of Cafayate enthralls and inspires.
The town of Cafayate was founded by vintners. The land was made for grapes. The well-drained soils, gentle slopes, and abundant sunshine of the area have been producing superb wines since the middle of the 17th century. Malbec, Merlot, Tannat, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes all bask in Cafayate’s warm days and cool nights.
Some bodegas in Cafayate date back to the 19th century, when families established wineries in what has become the most important town on the Salta wine route. Here, in Cafayate, small family wineries still press grapes by hand. Here, in Cafayate, vintners produce more wine than anywhere else in Salta. Here, in Cafayate, life and wine are intertwined.
Enjoy relaxed outdoor living in this unique location
These valleys are home to what many consider the best saddle horse in the world. The Spanish colonists brought the ancestors of the Peruvian Paso to Cafayate, but it was the local Salteños who bred it to its smooth-gaited perfection.
Riding isn’t a forgotten tradition here—it’s how many people in these remote valleys and villages work, play, and even travel. The gauchos of Salta herd goats and cattle much as generations before them, their traditions uniquely shaped by years of riding the mountains and working the ranges. For people who love horses, this is home.
"The wine town of Cafayate has its own distinct colors—pink dust, red hills, and olive-green mountains. Corn-yellow sand gathers along the curbstones of this sun-kissed village…
Add to this some pretty, palatial-style wineries, luxury lodges, excellent arts and crafts, and stunning vineyard country…and you can see why this whole area is becoming known as the Tuscany of Argentina"—Frommer’s
These are los Valles del Sol (Valleys of the Sun), where life is warmed by the sun. Stucco and adobe walls are bleached to a soft patina. Timbered doors and iron gates open onto cool courtyards and airy galleries. Quiet in the heat of the day, the stone streets and plazas come alive when shadows lengthen. People rise to greet the cool of the morning and linger late after supper, when families gather for food, wine, and laughter. This is a land of reds and yellows; of chili peppers, and tamales; of ancient grains and exquisite cheeses; of all-day barbequing for the Sunday asado. This is a place where traditions are not just kept but lived…the patterns of the past run through ponchos and baskets, and old ballads are sung by young voices.
Our base will be La Estancia de Cafayate. Founding investors here include Bill Bonner (Founding Publisher of International Living) and Doug Casey. Doug (Chairman of Casey Research) literally wrote the book on profiting from periods of economic turmoil: his book Crisis Investing spent multiple weeks as #1 on the bestseller list. He has been a featured guest on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including David Letterman, Merv Griffin, Charlie Rose, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Maury Povich, NBC News and CNN. Doug has lived in 10 countries and visited over 175. Cafayate, Argentina is his top choice for the one location with all the facilities a person could possibly want to nourish mind, body and soul.
The celebrations at La Estancia de Cafayate can be traced back to Doug Casey’s desire to show others the quaint and largely undiscovered wine producing town of Cafayate, which he had come across—and fallen in love with—during his extensive travels in Argentina.
In the early days, Doug and small groups of friends gathered to enjoy the charming town, dining on thick steaks and great wines and exploring the region, and the stunning property that now encompasses La Estancia de Cafayate.
As the vision of La Estancia as a peaceful, amenities-rich retreat far from the madding crowd took shape, others were invited to share the unique lifestyle this wine district has to offer. And so it came to pass that, within just a few short years, over 150 individuals from 24 different countries have joined the founders as members of the growing community of property owners at La Estancia.
Today, La Estancia de Cafayate has grown from just an idea into a rapidly progressing new lifestyle community in one of the world’s most stunning locales… so much so that it has been featured in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, USA Today, The Telegraph and numerous other respected publications.
As the community grew, it was decided to hold special celebrations as a gathering point for property owners, guests and others who are interested in enjoying this beautiful corner of the world with likeminded individuals, at La Estancia de Cafayate.
The Bob Cupp golf course is exceptional….
A Great Time in Great Company
You’ll have many things to see and do if you join us for Ocober’s Escape to Cafayate event. Activities include:
- Golf, and if you are so inclined, you can take part in a golf tournament, on the beautiful Bob Cupp designed 18-hole course that is a centerpiece at La Estancia de Cafayate.
- An authentic Argentine asado at Heath Club, the clubhouse designed by Santa Barbara-based architect Jack Zehren.
- A reception party festival featuring the folkloric music for which Salta province is renowned.
- Wine tastings and tours of Cafayate’s up and coming bodegas.
- Horseback riding, mountain biking and walking on the property.
- Tour the area—visit Inca ruins, hike the Inca trail, spend time in Salta City—and more. There’s a reason Frommer’s fell in love with the place—and you will, too.
You’ll be treated to a half-day investment seminar hosted by Bill Bonner….also featuring Ronan McMahon and a hand-selected group of special guests who will help you with all you need to know on purchasing property and living in Cafayate.
Perhaps best of all, however, you’ll spend time unwinding and enjoying yourself to the fullest in the company of interesting individuals from around the world—at scheduled social events and informal get-togethers.
In fact, one of the most remarked upon surprises about these events is how much everyone enjoys spending time in the company of like-minded individuals.
As you’ll discover, La Estancia de Cafayate is not a quick hop from anywhere; it will take you a full day of travel to get here. That’s why most visitors break their trip up with a day or two stopover in Buenos Aires, the "Paris of South America".
Paradoxically, it’s Cafayate’s remote location that contributes to it being such a special place. Unlike a Mexican or Bahamian resort, where the culture has been overwhelmed by legions of tourists, Cafayate’s culture is robust and authentic—right down to the gauchos you’ll see trotting their horses down the streets.
You’ll also appreciate that Cafayate is a self-sustaining community, with most of the food and drink, including great steaks, fine wines and fresh vegetables, grown and produced locally.
While the town’s popularity with more adventurous travelers (mostly from Europe) and Argentines supports a number of excellent restaurants, shops and amenities, Cafayate will never be a weekend retreat or quick holiday destination.
Instead, for residents it will become a reinvigorating second home destination; a comfortable nest to be enjoyed for weeks and months at a time, far from the day-to-day grind of modern life.
It will also be used as a winter retreat by those looking to avoid the cold and snow back home (the seasons are the opposite to those in the US and Canada). With a temperate high desert climate and over 330 days of sun each year, enjoying life in Cafayate year-round is also a very attractive option.
La Estancia offers a stunning natural setting
You Have to Experience It for Yourself
I could go on, and on, extolling the virtues of the place, but the only real way to appreciate it is to visit and experience it for yourself. And the October Escape to Cafayate tour is the perfect time to do so. It is the Argentine spring and a particularly wonderful time of year for your visit.
You can rest assured that during your visit you won’t be given a hard sell—that’s just not La Estancia’s style. Rather, you’ll have the vacation of a lifetime, including abundant opportunities to rub elbows with Bill Bonner and other property owners so you’ll get a solid feeling for the place. And then, if you want, La Estancia will make sure someone is available to show you home sites and discuss the potential of making La Estancia an important part of your life.
With only 360 home sites, La Estancia de Cafayate’s 1,500 acres have been carefully planned to celebrate the area’s rich culture with a collection of vineyards, horse pastures, and the brand new Bob Cupp links-style golf course. All of the properties enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Some benefit from golf course or polo field frontage, or views of the vineyards and pastures.
You don’t just get Cafayate’s stunning setting. World-class (delivered or planned) amenities will enhance everyday living here:
- 60-100 hectares of vineyards (already planted) —As a property owner in La Estancia you pick up bragging rights as owning a vineyard in Argentina! (And the wines from this area are excellent);
- Vintner’s Heath Golf Course —An 18-hole Bob Cupp-designed golf course with a clubhouse, driving range and short game practice facility. The entire course has been shaped and planted, and all but a few of the holes on the back nine are now fully playable - and exceptional. As you’ll come to understand during your visit, when completed, this will be one of the finest golf courses in all of Argentina, and even South America;
- Heath Club - before and after your game of golf, the elegant Heath Club - now open - offers a bar, restaurant and asado (barbeque), as well as locker rooms, a pro-shop, viewing tower, wide terraces, Wi-Fi and more.
- Authentic Argentine equestrian experience—With stabling and pasturing facilities for private and community horses.
- Riding trails, nature walks and mountain biking —A network will weave throughout the property, but don’t stop there - this is horse country, so you can even ride into town;
- Polo fields and associated facilities;
- Tennis, bocce & parcours facilities;
- Social clubhouse with all the amenities for civilized living - featuring a bar and lounge, wine cellars, game room, library, cigar lounge, business center and more;
- Full-service Spa—With swimming pools, locker rooms, fitness center and treatment rooms;
- Kids clubhouse—With game room and more;
- Pueblito —A small village center with asado (barbeque) cabin, small shops with crafts and conveniences, gathering and game spaces;
- Cafayate Concierge — A dedicated staff is available around the clock to assist you in making your time in country a rich, no-hassle experience, and look after things on a turnkey basis when you are away.
Don’t get me wrong. This place isn’t for the budget-conscious. There are three types of home sites based on size. Each property fronts open space, whether golf, vineyards, pastureland, wooded forest, or in some cases, a little of each.
Jardin—approximately 2000 sq meters or ½ acre, from $125,000.
Quinta—approximately 4000 sq meters or 1 acre, from $200,000.
Chacra—approximately 6000 sq meters or 1.5 acre, from $330,000.
La Estancia de Cafayate isn’t for you if your budget is limited. If you have the financial flexibility to buy the best…then this could be the place for you.
If you decide to join the rapidly growing family of international and Argentine property owners at La Estancia, you’ll receive a warm welcome. If La Estancia isn’t for you - well, you’ll have had a truly wonderful experience. Everybody does—it’s that kind of place.
What to Do Next
The exclusive concierge service is a key feature of life at La Estancia de Cafayate. A team of dedicated individuals help owners and guests make travel arrangements and smooth over the little hassles of daily life.
There is a modest fee charged for this event, strictly to help offset some portion of the costs. However, if you sign up by September 15, 2010 you’ll receive a 50% discount and pay just $125 per person (this does not include accommodation. The concierge can help you out with accommodation options).