You might not expect a winery so close to the city of Santiago, but then, Santiago has been growing up towards the mountains in recent decades, so it’s not so much that Cousiño Macul was built in the city as that the city has grown all around it. Cousiño Macul is a peaceful oasis in the district of Peñalolén, at the foot of the mountains, which are seen in the background over the planted fields. The winery was founded in 1856 by Matías Cousiño, and is still owned and run by the same family.
From the tasteful treed entryway to the quiet store, it feels like there is a reverence for the product and process here. In late summer and early fall, you can try grapes straight off the vines, which depending on the exact week may be Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Syrah. The tour of this winery includes a small exhibition area of winemaking tools used in the 19th century, including the apparatus used to hand place the cork in each individual bottle, which took great physical effort, as did moving the barrels around the winery, which was done with the use of a small train-like system.
The Cousiño Macul tour includes a walk through the cellars, and a view of the family’s private wine collection with sample wines from most years since they started. There are tastings throughout the course of the tour, which gives you a chance to savor each one in a different location, rather than tasting them all one after another, and of course, there is a souvenir glass.
The winery is best known internationally for its reds, but also produces a refreshing Sauvignon Gris, a rosé, made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, a variety of wine mainly known in California. This wine is served chilled, and, like the other wines on offer in the store, comes with a 10-20% discount over supermarket prices, and they are happy to box up the wine so it will make it home safely.