Santiago Wine Tour in Chile
Chile is one of the best countries to visit in 2018 and this 6 day Santiago Wine Tour is a perfect introduction to this beautiful country
The tour highlights are : Santiago, Aconcagua Valley, San Antonio Valley, Maipo Valley, Colchagua Valley. A gourmet tour of Santiago and surrounding areas, including visits to both well-known and up and coming wineries.
Day 1 – Arrive Santiago
Upon arrival in Santiago, you will be met inside the Arrivals Hall by your guide who will assist with Immigration and Customs formalities, and luggage collection, before escorting you to your waiting vehicle for the direct transfer to your hotel. Once at the hotel your guide will assist with check-in.
Once you have had time to relax and unwind following your flight, you will commence a unique exploration of Santiago. Sophie is a young Swedish woman, passionate about exploring the world and who during her travels fell in love with the country and decided to return to fulfil her dream of studying Spanish. Upon her return it was not long before she found a true reason to stay: Enrique, a Chilean chef, who was still in the process of unpacking his suitcases following a spell in the kitchens of several European restaurants. It was not too long before this charming couple decided to make plans to combine their interests in all things culinary and make their living by highlighting the culinary secrets of this fascinating and booming city Latin American metropolis. You will be met in the hotel by Sophie, and lead to your waiting vehicle for the short drive to a typical street market, passing en route some of the city’s most iconic areas such as Bellavista, El Bosque or Borderío. Upon arrival to the market you will meet up with Enrique, and stroll past the colourful stalls, getting to know the wide variety of fruits and vegetables available. From here, continue to the couple’s apartment where lunch will be prepared. Upon arrival you will be served an aperitif (such as the emblematic pisco sour) along with some appetisers, and you will be invited to join Enrique in the kitchen where you can roll up your sleeves and take part in the preparation of today’s menu that will be a tasting menu of different traditional Chilean dishes and accompanied by some excellent Chilean wines.
Following lunch, you will then explore Chile’s capital city, a sophisticated, sprawling metropolis wedged between the Andes and Coastal Ranges. Highlights will include the Palacio de La Moneda Presidential Palace, the Plaza de Armas, the city’s most famous square surrounded by some beautiful buildings including the impressive Cathedral and Central Post Office. Continue to San Cristobal Hill for a panoramic view of the city and the omnipresent Andes, before heading uptown to continue to the Pueblo de Los Dominicos Handicrafts Market. This charming shopping area resembles a colonial village, and the quality products on offer range from hand knit sweaters to lapis lazuli to art and even pet animals.
The evening will be at leisure.
Overnight: Ritz-Carlton Santiago
Meal Plan: L
Day 2 – Aconcagua Valley
Today’s exploration is the Aconcagua Valley. The stunning peak of Mount Aconcagua – at 22,800 feet, it is the highest peak in the Americas – actually lies across the border in Argentina, but is visible from the valley that shares its name. The valley is one of Chile’s emerging wine-producing areas.
Your first visit today will be to the famous Errazuriz Winery, in the picturesque village of Panquehue. This was once the largest wine producer in the world, which now vies for the title of Chile’s most beautiful winery. Viña Errazuriz has been producing grapes of the highest quality since 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz who recognised that cool, rainy winters, hot, dry summers and moist Pacific Ocean breezes provided ideal conditions for growing grapes.
The Errázuriz philosophy is best expressed by Don Maximiano who said, “From the best land, the best wine”. The tour begins among the garden’s fountains and fragrant sweet peas, and climbs through the vineyards for an expansive view of the property. The finale: a wine tasting of Errázuriz’s selection of Sangioveses, Pinots, and Shirazes, complemented by locally made bread and cheese. Afterward, linger on the patio over a delicious country lunch.
A mere 200 metres separates Errazuriz from Von Siebenthal, a boutique winery that produces only four wines. For over two decades, Mauro von Siebenthal, a Swiss lawyer and wine aficionado, had a dream. In 1998, with the financial support of four friends, Viña von Siebenthal finally became a reality. Viña von Siebenthal’s harmonious philosophy helps create extremely elegant wines that eloquently express the extraordinary characteristics of the Valle de Aconcagua terroir. So good are Von Siebenthal’s wines that one won a silver medal and three were awarded golds at the Brussels Wine Expo in 2004. Their premium Montelig won best red wine in the world at the Expo. Von Siebenthal is a no-fuss winery. There is no fancy visitor’s centre or souvenir shop, just superb service and great wines.
Continue through the colonial towns of San Felipe and Santa María towards the landmark Termas de Jahuel Hotel & Spa. Last December, this mountain-clinging resort, originally built in 1912, reopened after a three-year overhaul; a trio of new buildings blend seamlessly with the original wooden lodge. On-site trails weave through the surrounding pines and eucalyptus; the indoor and outdoor thermal pools and spa give you a few more excuses to unwind here.
This evening you are free to enjoy the thermal pools, swimming pool and other facilities at Termas de Jahuel Hotel & Spa, with dinner being served in the restaurant.
Overnight: Termas de Jahuel Hotel & Spa
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 3 – San Antonio Valley
This morning will be at leisure, allowing you to enjoy the facilities at Termas de Jahuel, before heading off along Route 60, which winds down the valley along the Aconcagua River, along a scenic, weaving route through peach orchards, corn and tobacco fields, and rustic pueblitos until Casablanca Valley.
Casablanca is a sub-region of the Aconcagua Valley, but its vineyards – first planted in the early 1980s – have earned worldwide recognition in a relatively short space of time. The warm, temperate climate of the area is greatly influenced by the coastal sea breezes, which in combination with a perfect terroir in a valley situated on the coastal plane, with distant hills and slopes rising no more than 400 metres above sea level provide ideal conditions for certain varieties of grape. It is not unlike Santa Barbara and portions of Sonoma, and fittingly, the grapes that have done best over the past half-decade or so have been Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Visit Casas del Bosque winery. Upon arrival, lunch will be served on the terrace at the Tanino Wine Bar & Lunch, with its sophisticated spin on Chilean standards. Afterwards you will be invited to visit the winery and cellars. Continue with a tasting focusing on their superb, award-winning red and white wines. A selection of dried fruits and cheeses will be served to accompany the wines during the tasting.
A little further east along the main Route 68, Viña Mar is another of Casablanca’s emerging vineyards. Along with its whites and reds, the winery is currently producing Chile’s best sparkling wines, many of which are produced and bottled for other, larger vineyards. A tasting of their superb Méthode Champenoise sparkling wine is included during the visit.
Later this afternoon you will arrive to the nearby Viña Matetic, a small winery making big waves in organic winemaking and 21st-century enotourism. Drop your bags at the three-room guesthouse, a century-old estancia set among wild gardens and furnished with regal four-poster beds and wingback chairs, thick damask curtains, and lots of florals and stripes. Explore the valley on foot, horseback, or bicycle, or visit the family cheese operation, and cap the afternoon off with a tour of the winery. Dinner this evening will be served at the guest house.
Overnight: Fundo El Rosario, Matetic Winery
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 4 – San Antonio Valley – Maipo Valley – Colchagua Valley
This morning drive to Las Vertientes in the heart of the Maipo Canyon. Located in the foothills of the Andes, with views of the River Maipo, this area is a popular weekend spot for santiaguinos. Just under an hour from the city centre, the Maipo Canyon is awash with almond and cherry plantations, sleepy mountain villages, and roadside stands selling fresh-baked bread and empanadas.
Along the way you will call at the Almaviva Vineyard. Created in 1997, this is Chile’s first winery conceived and managed like a French chateau, and this tour will provide an insight into the elaboration of an ultra-premium wine which combines the best of French and Chilean winemaking traditions. The visit begins with a brief history of Almaviva, a winery born from the joint venture between Concha y Toro Winery and Baron Philippe de Rothschild. The final stop is a visit to the bottling room. The tour ends with a tasting of Almaviva wine and a visit to the new Almaviva Boutique. Following the visit, lunch will then be served at the ‘Fundación Origen’ restaurant.
Continue to the Haras de Pirque Vineyard for a visit to this unique winery. In 1991, after a highly successful business career in Chile’s private sector, entrepreneur Eduardo Matte acquired this estate near Pirque, a prestigious winegrowing area situated in the Maipo Valley. The property – today covering 600 hectares – gently ascends the lower slopes of a spur of the Andes Mountains. The farm’s success is reflected by a long succession of trophies won in the nation’s main horseracing events and an unrivalled leadership in all of the sport’s local categories: broodmare sires, stallions and general standings. In addition, the Haras is a prominent supplier for breeders and owners in South and North America, and maintains approximately 30 racehorses in the national competition circuit. The visit will include a tasting of premium wines.
Continue to Santa Rita Winery’s Casa Real Hotel, unquestionably one of the nicest places to spend the night near Santiago. Originally built in 1885, this wonderful property is surrounded by lush gardens. A stunning neo-Gothic chapel on the property offers a quiet place for reflection, as does the pretty patio with its bubbling fountain. There is also an old-fashioned game parlour with a piano and a billiards table imported from England. Innumerable statues, some of them of a mythological origin and others representing the four seasons, accompany the visitor, showing the beauty of each corner offered by this huge and pretty garden.
Overnight: Casa Real, Santa Rita Winery
Meal Plan: B,L,D
Day 5 – Colchagua Valley
After a leisurely breakfast, you will depart from the hotel to Viña Casa Silva. In terms of wine, Casa Silva is best known for its reds and is a frequent winner of medals at prestigious international wine competitions, including the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London where it recently won the award of Best South American Producer.
Continue to the delightful Viu Manent vineyard. The name Viu Manent is a part of the history and tradition of Chilean wines. Viu has seen great success in recent years with its Malbec, a wine usually associated with Argentina. You will have the opportunity to sample this and other reserve wines during the tasting. Lunch will be served at the vineyard’s superb ‘La Llavería’ restaurant before continuing to the town of Santa Cruz.
Today’s activities continue with a visit to the superb Museum of Colchagua. Set in a beautiful colonial style house in the town of Santa Cruz, this fantastic museum is considered to be the biggest private museum in the country. The collection of the museum is organised in different sections and includes palaeontology, Latin American cultures, the Huaso (Chilean cowboy) culture, and agricultural and wine making machinery from the industrial revolution.
Once you have had a couple of hours to relax, you will continue to the sensational Altaïr Winery, in the nearby Cachapoal Valley. Your visit will commence with an aperitif at the observation area, whose privileged location allows wonderful views across the valley. Continue to the winery, while your host explains the techniques employed in the creation of the two wines made here; ‘Altaïr’ and ‘Sideral’. A tasting of both wines follows, after which you will set off on a moonlight horseback ride through the grounds of the winery, a unique way to capture the atmosphere of this magical place. A delicious hot snack will follow, accompanied of course by the fine wines of Altaïr. Following the visit, transfer to the hotel.
Overnight: Casa Real, Santa Rita Winery
Meal Plan: B,L
Day 6 – Colchagua Valley – Depart Santiago
After breakfast, visit Santa Rita winery. Santa Rita is an impressive estate with 800 hectares of vineyard land for the production of high quality wines, a completely modern wine-making facility and high storage capacity, as well as the old family mansion, which is surrounded by nearly 100 acres of a beautiful hundred-year-old park and ornamental gardens.
Your tour includes a comprehensive visit through the premises of this vineyard. Lunch will be served at Santa Rita’s landmark restaurant, Doña Paula, where superb Chilean and international dishes are served with excellent Santa Rita wines.
After lunch, continue the return journey to Santiago to board your flight back home.
Meal Plan: B,L