Chile is still one of our favorite countries. At the beginning of 2019, we went on a road trip and crossed the country from north to south, revisiting well-known regions and exploring new landscapes. We, as lovers of good wines, spent some of the best times on this trip on Wine Tours in Chile.
We already had the opportunity to visit a lot of wonderful places in the world. But from Atacama to Torres del Paine, we found incredible natural beauties and perfect tourism infrastructure.
The country has natural limits that provide optimal conditions for wine production. With the Andes Mountain Range to the east, the Pacific to the west, the Atacama Desert to the north and Patagonia to the south, central Chile has privileged weather and it is isolated from possible plagues. Apart from this, it has other advantages that allow the products to have an excellent cost-benefit, such as low taxes and reduced values on lands compared with vineyards in Europe and the United States.
The most characteristic grape from Chile is the Carménère. Originated in France, it was extinguished decades ago and rediscovered in Chilean soil at the beginning of the 1990s. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Malbec are also vines grown in the most developed country in South America.
Wine and cheese tasting
After big investment in the quality development of their wines in the last few decades, Chile currently stands out in the international market as a big producer and exporter of this drink. Wine tourism, on the other hand, also plays an important role, attracting visitors from all over the world.
The best Chilean vineyards are very well-structured to receive visitors. With several types of tours and tastings, they even please someone who does not like this drink. In addition, some of the best hotels and restaurants in the regions are part of these vineyards’ complex. We had unforgettable experiences and we want to share some of them with you.
The Maipo Valley is only 40 km from the center of Santiago, and it is home to most Chilean vineyards. It is a must-do trip from the capital because besides the natural beauties of the region, it offers very interesting tours.
In the case of Concha y Toro, among us, the Brazilians, it is the most traditional and well-known. With the wide range of labels, from the simplest to the most stylized, they please every taste and wallet.
Among the most awarded wines is Don Melchor, one of our favorites. It offers different types of experiences, in the middle of an excellent tourism structure. Almaviva, a vineyard created in association with the French Baron Philippe de Rothschild, also produces wines of excellent quality, such as the Epu in Almaviva itself.
Halfway between the capital and Viña del Mar, the Casablanca Valley is another perfect round trip from Santiago. Only 100 km away, it has more optimal conditions for the growth of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. As a result, in this region the production of white wine prevails, even though the Chilean vineyards are mainly recognized because of the quality of red wine.
We took a tour in Quintay, Indómita Matetic, where we had a class on the productive process of organic and biodynamic wines. We were impressed with the whole vineyard’s structure and its beauty. With a total of more than 10,000 hectares, it has an impeccable tourism structure and excellent wines. They offer several experiences, including hiking and bike rides. The tastings are also distinguished because they can be on a balcony with a view on the vineyards or in the beautiful underground tasting hall.
To finish, we went to the complex’s restaurant, the Equilibrio, a few kilometers from the headquarters. In a peaceful and tranquil environment, the tables have a view of a lake and well-cared-for gardens. Our lunch was perfect in every detail, with delicious dishes and harmonized with optimal wines from the house. Complementing the structure, the sophisticated Hotel La Casona has 10 spacious suites, installed in the old house on the farm.
We came back in love with the region and we already have a list of vineyards to visit next time. Among them are Emiliana, Casas del Bosque, Viña Mar, Quintay, William Cole and Indómita. We definitely need to come back taking it easy!
Farther from Santiago, there is a vineyard region less frequented by Brazilians and the one we loved the most. Because of its natural beauty, the quality of its wines and the structure of its vineyards, whoever visits Colchagua always has good reasons to come back. We visited six vineyards and we know that there is still a lot to explore.
Casa Silva, among the oldest and most awarded vineyards in Chile, produces one of our favorite labels. It balances mastery tradition and modernity, respecting its history and origin. The tour presents the vineyards, the productive process and other two passions from the owners: horses and antique cars. The excellent restaurant and elegant hotel installed in the old house of the family complement the visit.
Clos Apalta receives its visitors with the same care that it prepares its organic wines, recognized among the best in the world. It impresses with its architecture and the attention of the visitors in all interaction points. It has a boutique hotel and a sensational restaurant, where we had one of the best harmonized lunches of our lives! Both with a high view of the vineyards, they wake up the urge to always stay a little bit more.
Viu Manent, the most visited by Brazilians, does justice to its good fame. Apart from producing excellent wines, it also provides a real history and viticulture class on its tours. As if it was not enough, it has one of the best restaurants in the region: the Rayuela. With glass walls, a view of the vineyards and the surrounding roads, it will be the perfect ending for this special experience. Moreover, the dishes are absolutely delicious!
Neyen pleases not only because of its wines, but also its structure. The harmony between the constructions and the centenary vineyards with contemporary installations stand out. Among other interesting information, during the tour, they teach you to identify the type of grape based on the vine’s leaves. At the end, there is a distinguished tasting harmonized with semi-sweet chocolate. Surprisingly delicious!
Visiting the Viña Montes is on the wish-list of every appreciator of good wines. Among the better vineyards in Chile, it was one of the pioneers in the modernization and perfectioning process of the country’s wines.
With evaluations of more than 90 points, their labels are exported to more than 100 countries. As well as going on a walk through beautiful vineyards, it is also worth getting to know the winery, where the wines age in oak’s barrels to the sound of Gregorian singing. We recommend matching the walk with a lunch at Fuegos de Apalta, a restaurant specialized in meat run by the renowned chef Francis Mallman.
To end the visits to the Chilean vineyards with a grand finale, we went to the Santa Cruz Vineyard. As they say, it is a magical experience in a vineyard with body and soul. The body is its vineyards and winery, and the soul is represented by its tribute to prehispanic cultures. As well as very beautiful facilities, there are countless options, according to your expectations and group.
From tours for the family to romantic days for couples, you could choose between activities such as hiking, horse-drawn carriage ride, funicular, enologist for a day, visiting the museums of indigenous cultures, the museum of antique vehicles and motorcycles, among others. It is even possible to take a tour of the complex’s Astronomical Center. Obviously, the ending should be tasting some of the best wines in the house. The restaurant Viña Santa Cruz offers Chilean specialties with a gourmet touch, which is also one of the best in the region.
When to visit the Chilean vineyards
These destinations can be visited all year round and, in each season, you will discover different charms. Spring and autumn bring the colorful vine leaves. While in the flower season different tones of green predominate, in the other the vineyards adopt yellow and reddish colors. The cold in winter and the mountains covered in snow awaken an optimal weather for tastings and romance. And the summer brings, apart from high temperatures, life and flavor. It is the grape harvest season, the beginning of the vintage, when the vines are full of grapes and there are parties to celebrate the harvest.
To sum up, you will find good reasons to love the wine tours in Chile in all seasons. Even though we have visited many vineyards, we have a list of things to explore in each region, which motivates us to plan our next trips.