Hank Bannister first visited Argentina 30 years ago, backpacking through the Andes with his friend and guide, Martín Pekarek. Hank visited the nascent Salta wine region, falling in love with the landscape, wildlife, and distinctive wine culture of the north. However, he also saw a region at risk. Even with the relentless campaigning of Doug Tompkins and Yvon Chouinard, the Northwest region of Argentina is largely unprotected. After a 10+ year vast regeneration project, Condor Valley is set to become Northwest Argentina’s next undiscovered eco-tourism destination.
Quick facts on Condor Valley
Elevation ranges from 930 m to 3,480 m
6 species of high Andean cats
Home to the endangered Taruka
Over 200 species of birds
7 miles (11.2 km) of private river access
60 acres of old-world varietal vineyards
200 acres (80 ha) of regenerative agriculture
2,000 year-old Calchaqui cave paintings
“My dreams were a pale imitation of the reality”
Over the ensuing trips Hank and Martin realized that a gorge that marks the entrance to the property and Juramento River valley was an active flyway for Andean condors. On one particular trip they witnessed 26 circling condors on the thermals above their heads. Thereby Condor Valley was born.
“A piece of land twice the size of San Francisco”
Two years later Hank and his wife Kioko along a few impact driven investors, purchased the adjoining property “El Tipal” thus putting together three of the four deeded parcels that in 1900 originally made up the 100 square miles of the historic cattle ranch Estancia La Bodega.