(Molinos, Salta, Argentina) — Estancia Colome is a place I had read a few things about, mostly its magical high-altitude vineyard and its remote, very remote location. But what really attracted me to make the long journey was that it also is home to the only museum dedicated to one of my favorite artists, James Turrell. The fact that he chose this remote place for his remote works makes both all the more special. He works with light and the way we perceive. Read more about him, the museum and the estancia here.
Colome is owned by the Hess Collection and is one of the oldest and highest vineyards in South America, if not the world. The Estancia hotel has only a handful of rooms and when I went there in March ’11 it was a small boutique hotel. When I say remote, I’m talking about a two hour flight, a dramatic six hour (oft-times dangerous) 4 wheel drive crossing of multiple ecosystems (rain forests, mountains, desserts, high desserts, low desserts, etc. ) and driving through nearly a dozen or so roaring streams (depending on the rain). It is one of the most coolest drives I’ve ever down, white knuckles and all, through some of the most dramatic scenery I’ve ever seen. But the journey is what arriving at this place that much more special. I’ve read since that the hotel is now closed, open only for private bookings and vineyard tours. I think it might have been due to fording that last river….
Here’s their website. And here’s a great article about driving to Colome and through Salta from Travel & Leisure. Here’s a great story from the WSJ.com on road tripping through Argentina’s most extreme wine country. And another from Wall Street Journal on the advancing taste of Malbec. And a great article from the NYTimes on Colomé. And an older New York Times article on Salta, which I used on my trip.
Here’s an overly long video I made that brings to life the geography of Salta:
Last visited March 2011.
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