Wines of Chile
The Best of Chile's Central Valley
7 days/6 nights
Chilean wine has a long history for a New World wine region, as it was the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors brought Vitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère and Franc were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased.
Lay Chile out across the United States and it would reach nearly from coast to coast. That 2,700-mile length means Chile contains a huge variety of climates and geographies. Which in turn means that visitors have an amazing number of great experiences awaiting them. With the Andes on one side and the Pacific on the other, Chile offers a world-class list of things to see and do. And its blend of indigenous culture and Spanish and other European heritages combine for a welcoming embrace.
Day 1 :Arrival Santiago and Colchagua Valley
Meals included: Lunch
Welcome to Chile! Your guide will meet you at the Santiago (SCL) airport and drive you two hours south on the Pan-American Highway, through the marvelous agricultural heart of the Central Valley, before arriving to the eastern end of the Colchagua Valley. In the late nineteenth century, during the era of immense mining wealth in Chile, important families introduced fine wine varieties of French origin – primarily Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Merlot and Malbec – to the long, thin country. Since then, and especially during the mid-1990s during Chile’s rebirth as a quality wine producer, this area has developed into one of the most important wine regions in South America.
We will visit Casa Silva for a tour and tasting.
After the vineyard you will visit Santa Cruz where you will have time for lunch and a visit to the traditional Colchagua Museum. Afterwards, you will continue to your hotel for the night, the elegant Noi Blend Hotel. You are free to spend a leisurely evening soaking up the beauty of Colchagua or exploring the surrounding area. Dinner will be at your leisure.
Day 2 : Colchagua Valley
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel, Lunch
The Colchagua Valley is emerging as the king of Chilean reds, and today’s winery visits will undoubtedly demonstrate the quality of wines coming from Colchagua, particularly Carménère, Syrah, and Malbec. This morning, we’ll make the short 3-minute drive by car to Estampa Winery for a tour and tasting. We will visit 3 of the most important wineries in the valley and have lunch at one of them.
Day 3 : San Antonio Valley
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel, Lunch
You’ll begin the day driving along the beautiful Ruta de Fruta, heading to the coastal San Antonio Valley until we reach at Casa Marín Winery. Founded in 2000 by Chile’s first female vineyard owner, Maria Luz Marín, Casa Marín has been described as one of the “most daring and innovative” vineyards in the country. In addition to the more commonly found whites, they also grow Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Gris, in an area with a unique terroir, highly mineral and with very cool nighttime temperatures. Casa Marin’s outstanding wines have received many awards, and for many years was one of the Top 100 Wineries in the World by Wine & Spirits magazine. You’ll enjoy a breathtaking tour of the vineyards and a tasting.
Day 4 : Casablanca Valley
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel, picnic lunch
Today’s journey is through the Casablanca Valley. The valley’s cool coastal breeze makes the climate ideal for growing Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. We will start the day driving from our hotel over rolling hills to Kingston Vineyards about 13 miles from the hotel. You will enjoy a tour and tasting before passing through the town of Casablanca and along a back road to Loma Larga vineyards. Kingston is pioneering the production of cool-climate, artisan-style reds. Wines from the 300-acre family ranch are handcrafted and bottled on site.
Day 5 : Discover Valparaíso
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel, lunch
Departing the hotel, you will drive approximately one hour to the historic port of Valparaíso, one of the first Chilean cities founded by the Spanish. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003 for its architectural and cultural significance, the city is also one of Chile’s most interesting. You will start in the downtown sector, learning about the history of “Valpo” and its importance in South American trade and commerce. Century-old hillside ascensores (elevators) will transport you up into the city’s steep hills, where a labyrinthine maze of streets reveals brightly colored buildings, bohemian cafes and elegant restaurants, and spectacular views of the harbor below. You can also choose to add a stop to La Sebastiana Museum, one of the former homes of Nobel Laureate poet, Pablo Neruda.
Your lunch will be at a local restaurant nestled in the hills, specializing in fresh seafood and local ingredients.
In the afternoon, you’ll drive to Chile’s dynamic capital city, Santiago. Chosen by the New York Times as 2011’s #1 destination to visit, Santiago is a vibrant city full of character, with a thriving arts culture, trendy restaurant scene, and lively nightlife.
Day 6 : Discover Santiago
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel.
Full Day Discover Santiago City Tour
The tour begins with pick-up at your hotel. Your bilingual guide will lead you on a tour highlighting Santiago’s most important historical sites, including the downtown area surrounding the Plaza de Armas and the La Moneda Presidential Palace. You will also pass by the Mercado Central, one of Chile’s largest fresh seafood markets and stroll by the many bustling stalls to see the tremendous variety available from Chiles bountiful sea. You will visit some of the lesser-known barrios of Santiago including Republica and Concha y Toro, which were historically privileged neighborhoods and home to Santiago's high society. There will be time to walk around and take photos of the varied styles of architecture dating back to the 19th and early 20th century. Continuing through the cobblestoned Lastarria neighborhood, you will walk through the Parque Forestal and pass by the Bellas Artes Museum. For a panoramic vista of the city, you will visit the top of Cerro San Cristobal Hill, 984 feet above the city.
During the tour, you will have the option to visit one of Santiago’s most famous museums, La Chascona, former home to beloved poet and Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda. The whimsical residence provides a snapshot into the life and mind of Neruda, filled with art, eccentric collections, and even his Nobel Prize.
Day 7 : Market & Cooking and say goodbye
Meals included: Breakfast at your hotel
Today we'll visit Santiago’s main produce and fish markets: La Vega Central and Mercado Central, to buy fresh ingredients for a fresh and tasty meal. Accompany your guide as we select the best products from our favorite vendors, or caseros. It’s also an opportunity to explore the variety of produce, products and culture at the market.
Next, we will head away from Santiago Centro to the base of the Andes to a private home in either San Carlos de Apoquindo, a community at the foot of the looming mountains, or in the residential section of Bellavista. Here, we'll prepare a simple but delicious Chilean meal using the fresh fish and produce we just selected. The actual meal depends on the market and seasonal availability of products. Prior to the meal we'll also prepare Chilean pebre and pisco sours. Rather than a formal cooking class with technical instruction, this is a collaborative effort to prepare a fresh meal and talk food and culture.
Each participant will also receive a special gift and the recipes of what we prepared that day. Additional options are available for all diets and preferences.
Transfer Hotel Santiago - Airport
You will be picked up at the hotel in Santiago by your representative and transferred to the Airport for your departure.
Private transportation in comfortable vehicle.
Professional, bilingual guide as indicated
Activities as mentioned in the itinerary
Entrance fees where applicable.
Meals as described in the itinerary.
Bottled mineral water on day tours.
Lodging as mentioned in the itinerary.
Meals not specified, drinks
Personal insurance and expenses
Entrance fees to monuments, museums, attractions other than mentioned in the program
Everything not mentioned in the program