Wine Tasting Near Santiago
By Viator, April 2014
In addition to having many of the nation’s best restaurants, wine bars and tasting rooms, with enviable wine lists, the city itself is also just a short drive from several important wine-growing areas, mainly the Colchagua, Aconcagua and Maipo valleys. Though it might come as a surprise, there are even a couple of wineries within the Santiago city limits, as the city has grown out from its historical center.
Chile is known as a world-class wine producer, and owes much of this to the climate, microclimate and mineral content of the soil. In recent years, Chile has been best known for Carménère, the French grape that was thought to have been extinguished by a phyloxera plague in the mid-19th century, but which was rediscovered, mistakenly thought to be Merlot, in a Chilean vineyard.
In recent years, Chile is also producing some notable Malbecs, like neighboring Argentina, and is really making a name in Suavignon Blancs. In fact, Chile is opening more and more small-scale vineyards, and taking advantage of its great location to grow varieties that have historically been under-used in Chile, such as petit verdot. The sparkling wines produced in Chile are also drawing attention, with both local and international consumption rising.
If you’re really short of time, or want to compare many wineries in one sitting, it makes sense to go to a restaurant or wine bar such as BocaNariz, which has taster pours, and organizes its food menu by flavors, for better wine pairing. Upscale hotels, such as the W also have tasting rooms, and you can easily arrange a tasting at one of the upscale wine stores. The wine tourism community is accostumed to giving explanations in English.
But if wine tasting just isn’t wine tasting to you without the smell of the oak barrels and the seasonally-changing view of vineyards with and without grapes on the vine, or if the history of the families and vintages associated with each wine is of interest, then a winery visit is in order.
And even if you just have a short time in Santiago, there are winery tours featuring Concha y Toro and Cousiño Macúl, both of which are conveniently located within short driving distance of central Santiago. And if you’d like to combine a winery visit with a day of outdoor adventure, try a day tour of Valle Nevado and Cousiño Macul which combines a winery a visit with a trip to one of the area’s most popular ski resorts. These two wineries are among the most historic in the area, with Cousiño Macul dating back to 1856. Concha y Toro was founded a bit later, in 1883, but is today the largest producer of export wines in Chile, including one of its most accoladed, Don Melchor, which received a rating of over 94 points in Wine Spectator Magazine.
Wineries can all provide travel-safe boxes for safe transport of bottles back home.
Tours & Tickets
Discover the 'New World of Wine' in Chile and visit two of the oldest and most historic wineries in the country on a full day guided tour from Santiago. Chile ... Read more
Duration: 7 hours (approx.)
Get to know the Andes – from mountaintop to Maipo Valley vineyard – on a day trip from Santiago with a knowledgeable guide. In the morning, visit Valle Nevado ... Read more
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)