Touring a Goat Farm in a Winery in Argentina

Have you ever visited a goat farm in a winery?

When we went to Cafayate, the second wine-producing region in Argentina, it was to discover its famous Torrontés wine. Little did we know that we would find a goat farm in a winery!

On our quest to sample the best Torrontés, we found out about Cabras de Cafayate a goat farm producing goat cheese in the area. Goat cheese is one of the typical products from the Northwest part of Argentina.

Until the Cabras de Cafayate farm was created, the artisanal goat cheese was produced marginally and without much sanitary control.

To our delight, Cabras de Cafayate offers tours of their goat farm followed by a cheese tasting.

Join us for the goat farm and the goat cheese tasting experience.

GoatFarm Cabras de Cafayate Map Authentic Food Quest
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A Unique Goat Farm

Cabras de Cafayate is located about 1.5 miles from the center of Cafayate. This unique farm is part of Domingo Hermanos winery, one of the most renowned wineries of Cafayate.

In the 1990s, the winery originally acquired goats with the intention of using goat excrement as a fertilizer for the vineyards. Later on, as goat meat became popular on the menus of the local restaurants, they started selling the meat to the local restaurants. That’s when Palo Domingo the owner of Domingo Hermanos had a vision. He put his son to the task of an ambitious project: create an artisanal fabrication of goat cheese.

GoatFarm Cabras de Cafayate Sign AuthenticFood Quest

There are a total of 500 goats on the farm and 350 of them are producing milk everyday. The farmers carefully study the breeding of the goats to ensure they will be best to produce milk.

Right away, you will notice as you walk through the farm the lack of the peculiar odor that goats usually have. This is one of the very unique aspects of this farm. We learned that the females do not return to the dairy farm immediately after the milking service. This is to avoid contact with the urine from the males, which is the cause for the bad odor.

Goat Farm Barns Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

Goats Fed with Grapes and Milked to Music

To manage the feeding and diet of the the goals, they are all separated by age. The baby goats of one year old which are not producing milk, stay in one barn. Milk producing goats between 2-8 years of age stay in a separate barn. These goat produce milk for about 5-6 years. The lifespan for the goats is about 13 to 14 years old after which they are slaughtered for their meat.

Goat Farm Barns Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

At the farm, the diet of the goats is very important and very specific. It is one of the particularities that makes this goat farm so special. The diet is studied to optimize the quality and quantity of the goat milk. The goat eat the residue from the grapes pressed at the winery and other natural product from the field. This makes their diet rich in flavonoids, tannins and antioxidants.

Goat Eating at Goat Farm Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

Touring the Goat Farm

The tour of the goat cheese farm starts with a walk through the barns where the goats are kept and move freely. There, you will see the baby goats that are fed differently from the goats for milk in the next corral. You will have the chance to see the newborns which are kept with their mothers.

Goat Farm Baby Goat Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest
Goat farm barn and Claire at Goats Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

Then you enter in the dairy building where they milk the goats everyday. The dairy building is where the goats are milked. Only 24 goats can be milked at a time. The building is designed not to disturb the goats. They even play music to relax the goats during the milking process. What a nice treatment!

The milking process is done once a day and each goat produces an average of 2 liters of goat milk. We were very much impressed with the cleanliness and the space available for the goats.

Goat Farm Dairy Tour Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food QuestDairy building with music

Goat Cheese Made On Site

Outside of the dairy, you will see the goats being fed close to the barn. Next, you enter the building where the cheese is made. Everything is behind glass and you won’t be able to see much of it. However, you will notice the cleanliness of the fabrication area.

Goat Farm Cheese Fabrication Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

The farm started selling their cheese products in 2006. About 700 liters of goat milk are produced each day from a total of 350 milk producing goats. All cheese is produced on-site with 100% goat milk.

The goat cheese farm produce four types of cheese. Natural which is made without any adds-on. Ahumado or Smoked cheeses. Pategras de Cabras which is a type of gouda, very popular in Argentina. And cheese with spices added: Aji (chile pepper), Albahaca (Basil), Provenzal (Provencal Herbs) and Oregano (oregano).

The cheese are mainly sold by 200g either semi-firm or hard. They also sell queso fresco or soft cheese as well as cheese by 800g, 1.5kg and 8kg. To make the cheese semi-firm, it is stored for 3 to 4 months while the hard cheeses are stored up to 8 months. They are planning on producing two new types of cheese: a fat-free cheese and a blue cheese/Roquefort type (can’t wait!)

The products are packaged fresh on site without the use of preservatives. That means you have up to 5 months to consume them. The farm is now accredited to export their cheese overseas. The farm also has a full lab that does all the testing on site. It provides traceability from the cheese back to the animals.

The prices for the cheese start at 25 ARS pesos (about $1.75USD). For that quality, it is really a bargain!

Goat Farm Cheese and Wines Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

Cheese Tasting and Learnings

The tasting is part of the tour and it is offered at the end. They propose 4 types of cheese all semi-firm: Natural, Aji, Provenzal, and Pategras de Cabra. Overall the cheese is mild, earthy and grassy tasting.The Pategras is the mildest of the all the cheese. It is quite a contrast with the usual tangy taste of the goat cheese. The natural cheese was my favorite because you can taste the cheese product without the spices to mask the taste.

Goat Farm Cheese Tasting Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food Quest

The overall tour and cheese tasting took about one hour and cost 10ARS pesos (about $.70 USD equivalent at the time of visit).

Be prepared to brush up on your Spanish. Our guide spoke only Spanish and delivered her presentation quite fast. With little attention paid to English speakers, it made it difficult to follow with our limited Spanish.

Nonetheless, we learned that the only fresh white cheese comes from goats milk. And when cheese is yellow in color it comes from cows milk. Goat cheese is alkaline, making it easy to digest and rarely causing heartburn. Finally, goat cheese reduces cholesterol and has a much higher Vitamin A content than cheese from cows. This made us feel really good about eating more goat cheese!

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Summary

Visiting the goat farm Cabras de Cafayate in Argentina is a unique experience. Seeing the goats upfront and learning how the product is made gives you a deeper appreciation for the local specialty.

Understanding one of Argentina’s favorite cheeses and taking a break from wine tastings makes it a great experience. With the goat farm located in a beautiful setting, it is absolutely worth a visit.

If you find yourself in Calafate, you cannot miss visiting Cabras de Cafayate.

Location mentioned:

Cabras de Cafayate, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina.

Note: Check ahead for their hours as they vary on weekdays and weekends. They are closed at lunch time.

In the comments below, share with us a surprising local food tour you experienced on your travels.

Savor The Adventure!

GoatFarm Entrance Cabras de Cafayate Authentic Food QuestEntrance Cabras de Cafayate

66 comments

    • You are so right Anastasia, learning about the goat cheese manufacturing process was incredibly fascinating. Indeed the backdrop and delicious Cafayate wines make a nice complement to the cheese!! Thanks so much for your comments.

      Reply
  1. Hi girls, my name is Manuel, I´m from Argentina, funny coincidence, I´ve found you by accident, looking for some information to upload to a friend´s page.
    Actually he leads a tour company in Cafayate Argentina, and I´m giving him some help with a new web page proyect.
    Frankly speaking, I fell in love with Cafayate, it´s a little city with many things to do and to learn, from it´s interesting winery culture and ethnic cuisine to breathtaking landscapes and amazing folk histories.
    I feel sorry for the “lack of a translator”, it would make your visit even much more enjoyable.
    On the other hand your I found your note really charming and interesting.
    If you need more information about our “folklore” feel free to ask, and if you want me to, I will send to you my friend´s new web page link within the next couple of weeks for you to discover a bit more of Cafayate.
    Just a little correction, the wine is “Torrontés” not Torrentés as mentioned in the article.

    Stay well, blessings!!!!!

    Manuel.

    Reply
    • Hi Manuel, thanks for your note and comments. You are right, Cafayate is a charming city with so much to offer. We wished we had more time in Cafayate to really enjoy the region. Yes, please do share any information about folklore and your friend’s new web page link. It would be great to support local tour companies in the lovely region of Cafayate. Thanks for the note about Torrontes – we’ve made the change 🙂 Please stay in touch and send us the information. Be well, Rosemary and Claire

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  2. Hi Claire and Rosemary,

    What a fantastic experience you had! I love dairy products and at least twice a week I drink goat milk. I also use goat cheese in my food. It is impressive how they don’t separate the newborn goats from their mothers. Many big farms do that which is really sad. The photos are amazing as well, especially the ones with the newborn goats!

    Zaria

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Zaria for your enthusiasm and your comments. That’s amazing that you drink goat milk that frequently. On the other hand, we eat it quite regularly. Glad you like the photos. We were very impressed with how they take care of their goats – the feeding, the lots, the music, everything 🙂 Cheers!

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  3. Thank you for sharing! I love goat cheese, so I was glad to hear about the health benefits. And it’s terrific to see that the goats are kept well and fed with care. But I don’t really need an excuse to eat more goat cheese.

    The last surprising food tour I went on was in Tokyo where I ate chicken hearts and gizzards. But I will eat absolutely anything so I liked it, especially the chicken heart.

    Reply
    • Wow, that’s interesting – chicken heart and gizzards!! Good for you for being brave. You are right, sometimes the most delicious things are the surprising parts of the animals. Yum! No need for excuses to eat more goat cheese…just providing the additional benefits..:) Thanks for your comments Stella.

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    • Thanks Agness for your comments. Great experience and lots of fun and learning. Our goal is to inspire people to travel through food and specifically what is local and authentic. Hope you can get to see the goats in Cafayate for yourself soon. Cheers.

      Reply
  4. So unusual, and I love Argentinian wine (actually I love all wine). And I love goats cheese too. And I really want to visit Argentina Asaph. Consider this added to the list. Thanks for sharing something unique ?

    Reply
    • Great Aimee. So glad you added this experience to you list. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about your future trip to Argentina. You will absolutely enjoy the goat farm in the winery. Cheers 🙂

      Reply
  5. Yes to wine and cheese! I discovered Torrentes when I traveled to Argentina as well, but didn’t visit the region. I love how eco-conscious the farm is and how adorable the newborns are. What a treat it must’ve been to visit!

    If you want to read more about experiential foodie delights, visit me at TheWanderlusteur.com

    Reply
    • Thanks for your comments Monica. Did you like Torrentes wines? We absolutely enjoyed them. Great experience visiting the farm and one you should not miss if you go back to Argentina. Will check out your site. Cheers!

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  6. What a unique place! I love that they are fed grapes and milked to music! It kind of reminds me of Kobe beef, where the cows are massaged. I love unique places like this and if you add baby goats to the mix, you absolutely have my vote hands down (they are the cutest)!!!

    Reply
    • Wow, cows getting a massage. How fascinating. It’s interesting, don’t you think that the better the animals are treated the higher quality the products. Agreed, the cute goats did make the experience even more special 🙂 Thanks for your comments Tamar.

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  7. That sounds like such an amazing stop of your wine tour. Obviously cheese and wine go together quite well. When I was in Argentina I visited a polo farm and was exposed to horse breeding first hand! Argentina is full of surprises!! But it definitely has amazing wine!

    Reply
    • You are so right Stephanie, Argentina is full of surprises. How wonderful you were able to visit a polo farm. It must have been quite an experience 🙂 It was our first time seeing a goat cheese farm on a winery and we were quite intrigued. Great cheese and delicious wines. Thanks for your comments!

      Reply
  8. This is the second time I’ve stumbled upon this post, and it is awesome! Goat cheese and red wines are two of my favorite things, so this would be right up my alley. Your pictures are awesome too, and really show off the place well 🙂

    Reply
  9. Loved this article! Especially that I’m thinking to visit Argentina in some months 🙂 And I love experiences like this so I will try to see this on my own 🙂

    Reply
  10. Oh my gosh – this is like my personal nirvana. Baby goats, goats cheese and wine all in the one spot. Amazing! The cheese looks quite different to the goats cheese I have generally had which is more like curd. In Australia there’s a company that marinates the cheese in olive oil. It is divine!

    Reply
    • Yes, your personal nirvana exists in Cafayate, Argentina 🙂 We were also quite surprised by the cheese, both in form and in taste. Ohh…goat cheese in olive oil? That indeed sounds like heaven. Thanks Katy for your comments!

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  11. I would love to own a goad, if I ever move to Argentina or India:) And I love the fact that you are encouraging authentic experiences while travelling

    Reply
    • Thanks Chris. The great news about the goat farm tour is that you don’t have to drink the wines. Enjoy what you like best – the goat cheese and accompany that with a great local beer. No need to write off the experience entirely, just participate in what you enjoy. Cafayate is known for white wines which are very unique, unfortunately not for the beer 🙂 Thanks for your comments!

      Reply
  12. I wasn’t sure if I’ve already commented on this, but I have to say, I love goats. My son just saw one for the first time at ‘goatchella’ here in San Francisco and he LOVED them! This is a great post! Keep up the good work! <3

    Reply
    • Thanks so much Krysten. That’s wonderful that a “goatchella” exists and that your son enjoyed the goats. That’s absolutely awesome. Out of curiosity, did they have any goat cheese available? Appreciate your comments on the post 🙂

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    • Thanks Hung, they say it makes a big difference to the taste how animals are reared. In this case, the farm really took good care of the goats. As a result, the cheese is delicious and some of the best from the country. Have you ever visited a goat farm? Thanks for your comments!

      Reply
  13. I absolutely love goat cheese, so this tour has my name written all over it! I visited a goat farm where they produce all kinds of goat cheese products including ice cream and truffles in Maui, Hawaii and it was fun. I have never seen a goat farm associated with a winery and I like the fact that they use the grape clippings in their diet, I bet you can taste it in the cheese. I am not sure I’ve been on a surprising food tour, but I have done a lot of food tours and it is how I like to introduce myself to a new locale – best way to learn the local specialties!

    Reply
    • Could not have said it any better…”the best way to learn about a new locale is through the local specialties.” Yes. Yes and Yes! The cheese tasted amazing and the other surprising thing was the lack of smell or bad odor. Everything was so clean and the goats smelled good 🙂 Unfortunately, they did not make goat ice cream or truffles. That must have been so much fun to experience in Maui. Thanks for your comments Andi 🙂

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  14. I personally love goat cheese, goat meat and wine, this sounds like a perfect outing to me! I have visited a vineyard in Florida where they had an attached goat farm however, goats definitely weren’t milked to music, in fact they used to keep the goats away to prevent them from chomping on the grape leaves!

    Reply
    • Thanks Prateek. So glad to hear that this kind of tour would be right up your alley. Milking to music does apparently help with the production. That’s funny about Florida! A different approach indeed 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

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  15. How interesting! I love that the goat farm and winery are together–makes for a great pairing. I love that they play music for the goats! The tasting looks like fun too. It’s always nice to learn about where your food comes from–I’d love to visit sometime!

    Reply
  16. Saw your goat pic on Instagram and knew I was in for a treat. 🙂 I have never been to a winery that featured goats too, what a cool combo. We used to own a goat called curly, later in life renamed bunter as every time we walked past him, he’d bunt the back of your legs. Perhaps we should of tried playing soothing tunes to him. Lol! Adding to my list of places to visit for sure. 🙂

    Reply
    • That’s great….music and in particular classical music may have helped 🙂 Love the evolution of your goat’s name. Did you make goat cheese? Yes, indeed Cafayate, Argentina is worth visiting. Thanks for your comments!

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  17. I have been to several wineries and a couple of goat farms. But I have never been to a goat farm in a winery. Amazing that this place has combined two of my favourites, Argentinian wine and goat cheese!

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  18. I have not yet had the opportunity to visit a goat farm in a winery, but hopefully I will one day since goat cheese and wine are two of the greatest pleasures in life. I guess I’ll have to learn Spanish first though if I want to visit Cabras de Cafayate.

    Reply
  19. Sounds like a good life for a goat, milked to music! To answer your question, no, I have never visited a goat farm in a winery or thought it was even possible. It must have been a great and delicious expedition.

    Reply
    • Thanks Carol, apparently when goats are milked to music and are stress-free, they produce more milk. Not bad indeed! On your next travels, check and see if there is a goat farm in the area. You will be pleasantly surprised 🙂 Thanks for your comments.

      Reply

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