Salta is the country’s northernmost wine region. Growing conditions here are extreme: most of its vineyards are more than a mile above sea level, amid jagged red-rock formations. In Cafayate and the Calchaquí Valley, Salta’s two main subzones for wine production, elevations range from about 5,700 feet above sea level (in Cafayate) to Calchaquí vineyards at more than 10,000 feet. At this height, the daytime sun can be searing, and achieving ripeness is rarely a problem; in addition, at 6,000 feet and higher, the nights are cool, so the grapes retain ample acidity.
Malbec, Tannat, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are grown here, but the region is most known for the aromatic white variety Torrontés.