by Wendy Fougner
Chile is fascinating nation, characterized by diverse and beautiful landscapes, warm friendly people and world-class wine. Over the years, Bruce and I have traveled to Chile multiple times. Several years ago Bruce and I rented a car and drove from Macchu Pichu in Peru to Chile’s capital, Santiago. This year we had the pleasure of visiting Chile once again on a cruise from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso. One of the highlights of our most recent visit was a day tour exploring three fantastic wineries around Santiago.
There are numerous wineries in the region surrounding Santiago and Valparaiso, so we decided to embark on a wine tour on our last day in Santiago. We checked out of our hotel in the morning and a driver picked us up to take us on a private tour. Each winery we visited was beautiful and had it’s own unique feel and varietals of wine.
Like the wineries in BC, the wineries in Chile offer tours and have different prices for the number of wines you taste. We found that each winery was quite generous with the portions at the tastings. One winery we visited offered a lovely assortment of different bites to cleanse the pallet, including strawberries, coffee beans and breadsticks. Overall, the wines were lovely and I particularly enjoyed some of the different white varietals.
In addition to tasting amazing wines, the setting of each of the wineries made our wine tour experience in Chile very special.To get to one winery we traveled down a dirt row lined by lush olive trees. The property was so calm and peaceful, it was lovely. Another winery was further out of town and closer to the ocean. Apparently the mist from the ocean gives an interesting taste to the grapes. The main building at this winery is quite a site, with massive doors and beautiful rock structures. This winery also has a hotel that is completely sustainable, as they grow their own produce.
Our experience touring wineries in Chile was absolutely fantastic. All of the staff at the wineries spoke impeccable English and there were no issues with communication. Whether you spend a day touring wineries in Chile or spend your entire trip exploring the country’s wine regions, this experience is a must when in Chile.