mauleDiscover some of Chile´s best wine country in the Central Valley; the heart of Chile´s wine growing region.  Chile´s long tradition of wine making dates back to the 16th century.  Beginning, when the Spanish first settled in Chile and vineyards were planted by Jesuit missionaries for ceremonial wine as the Spaniards attempted to convert the indigenous people of the area to Catholicism.  On this tour, you will be taken on a journey to valleys rich with winemaking and winegrowing history.  Driving through the lovely countryside of these wine valleys, the Maipo, Maule, Curicó and Colchagua Valley, you will discover what makes these places so special.  You will indulge in the exquisite, fruity flavors of their world-class wines and experience some of the area´s best vineyards.  You will visit the Tabontinaja winery in the Maule Valley.  Due to the superior quality of the soil here, this winery is known for producing ultra premium red wines that have received numerous awards.  In the Colchagua Valley, you will experience the combination of picturesque hills covered in vineyards with cutting edge, wine making technology.  The contrast of charming colonial estate houses with innovative practices designed to produce high-quality wine.  On this tour filled with aromatic reds and whites, you are guaranteed to have your thirst piqued and your senses aroused.

 





Discover Maule, Curicó y Colchagua Wine Valleys | 4 Days – 3 Nights

The tour begins from Santiago, Chile’s capital.  Early in the morning you are going to meet your Pionero Travel Guide and Driver.  After getting organized, travel approx 3 hours South through the Pan – American highway.  On the way, appreciate wonderful views of Chile’s wine country, starting with the Maipo Valleyone of Chile’s main wine producing regions and continuing south all the way to the Maule Valley which is  the Southernmost Valley of Chile’s wine country.
Arrive in the city of Talca, and our first stop is at the famous Casa Donoso Winery, located at about 10 minutes east from the highway.  The company was founded in 1989 by Michel Paoletti who came to Chile from Tahiti in 1988, at a time when most of the traditional family vineyards were in trouble. After visiting extensively all wine producing regions, he found that the Maule Valley offered a great potential, recognized in the past, and strangely forgotten lately.  As he wanted to anchor the wine in its natural and cultural environment, he looked for a vineyard which could be a “domain”, in a way similar to the Bordeaux region. The beautiful and historical mansion, which crowned one of the properties he visited, was ideal.  Some of his friends and wine enthusiasts from Tahiti decided to buy the property with him, known at that time as “Fundo La Oriental”. They bought it from its original owner, Lucía Donoso Gatica, an extraordinary charming lady, in whose honor they gave the first name to one of the first bottled wines of the company, “Doña Lucía”, and later her family name to the upper range of their wines. 
After the visit, have lunch at the Toro Bayo Restaurant, specialized in Mediterranean food.
Continue the journey and arrive to the Tabontinaja winery & Guest House.  One of Chile’s prime boutique vineyards strategically located in the heart of the Maule valley.  This valley does not have an equal in the superior quality of its soil for the production of excellent wines, resulting from a combination of both fertility and a perfect climate, in the form of just the right amount of sunshine. The annual production of the Tabontinaja vineyard is 25 thousand bottles, consisting exclusively of ultra premium red wines.  Many of which have been awarded with medals in Bordeaux, London, Holland, and in the Catad’Or wine contest held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Santiago.  In its unique and exclusive “Tabonkö” guest house, visitors are initiated into the knowledge of Chilean wine culture in addition to enjoying the natural beauty of the surroundings.  After settling in at the vineyard’s guest house, meet the winemaker for a guided visit to the vineyard followed by a delicious dinner.  Overnight.
(L) (D)


Day 02, Maule – Colchagua
After breakfast visit a very typical Chilean vineyard.  This vineyard is not only well-known for its wines, but it is also known for its quality stables of Chilean rodeo horses. Here visit the vineyard enjoying a glass of wine with beautiful views of the valley and majestic Chilean horses.  Introduction to the sport of the “Chilean Rodeo”.  Next, travel approximately 1 hour north to the Curicó Valley.   Visit the Miguel Torres cellars. This Vineyard is one of the most important in Chilean Viticulture.  Miguel Torres, a Spanish wine producer and one of the largest in the world is considered to have founded modern Chilean viticulture, which was instrumental on today’s Chilean wine Industry.  After the visit to the cellars enjoy a great lunch at the vineyard’s unique restaurant considered one of the finest in Chile.
The next visit will be one of Chile’s most complete and old rural mansions (Mondays closed).  Here you will have the opportunity to see the way of life and culture of a prominent Chilean family that used the house from 1829 to 1972.  The house is furnished with most of the original items that the family used during this period and it is a time capsule allowing us to travel back in time, a very powerful and illustrative experience.
After this interesting visit, drive towards Santa Cruz located in the Colchagua Valley.  The drive will take you along beautiful back roads and through colorful regions and villages, blossoming with diversity, resulting from the mix of modern life and ancient customs, many of which are still alive to this day. Once in Santa Cruz, a small village in the heart of Chile’s most famous wine producing region, check in at a selected Hotel.
This evening, after getting settled in at the hotel, a very interesting and exclusive dinner at Luis Allegretti’s home has been planned.  Luis Allegretti, an Italian artist with aristocratic back rounds, is an expert traveler who arrived in Chile in the late 1990´s and fell in love with this valley.  This is when he found his exquisite home, and old “hacienda” estate dating back from the 18th century.  He has recently been restoring his house just for exclusive events.
Spend time with him, walk around his incredible house with more than 400 art pieces and learn how to make Chile´s famous Pisco Sour and empanadas followed by a delicious fusion of Italian – Chilean food.  Return to the hotel.  Overnight.
 (B) (L) (D)

Day 03, Colchagua 
After breakfast, visit local artisans at their workplace.  These artisans are just a 15 minute drive from the hotel and they show you first hand where they get the raw material and how they transform it into beautiful works of art using methods that have been passed from generation to generation.
Next, continue on to visit two of the most representative vineyards of this region.  First visit the Montes winery.  It is located in the “La Finca de Apalta”, an essential part of the renowned Apalta Valley. The Tinguiririca River forms a natural divider in this isolated area, while a mountain chain to the north helps maintain a soft ocean breeze that plays a key role in the Apalta climate.  To the south the Tinguiririca River creates a wind corridor, while the steep south-facing hillsides allow the vineyards to obtain adequate light and sun exposure.
In December 2004, Montes inaugurated the new winery at Apalta.  The investment totaled over US$7.0 million with a storing capacity of 2.300.000 liters.  A cellar that becomes a qualitative production leap for one of the most applauded Montes red wines: Montes Alpha and the Ultra Premium Montes Alpha M and Montes Folly in addition to the recently launched Purple Angel.  Its cellars hold state-of-the art technology, equipment and design, and the capacity of producing the finest Chilean wines.  Follow towards their neighboring winery Clos Apalta.  This revolutionary winery solely dedicated to the production of Casa Lapostolle’s world-class icon wine, Clos Apalta. The winery is 100% gravity-fed spanning five levels, three of which are buried into the granite of the Apalta hillside to provide a natural cool temperature environment for cellaring and ageing.  This rare vertical design allows the wine to flow naturally downward during every stage of the production, eliminating the need to pump, which can adversely affect the subtle flavors of the wine.

 

Grapes are hand-harvested and brought to the highest level of the winery where they will be hand-destemmed, an intensive labor technique performed by only very few wineries throughout the world.  Continuing this visit, have an exquisite lunch at the vineyards guest house with impressive views of the Colchagua Valley.
Following this visit, go back to our Hotel.  Time to relax and meet up to dine in La Casita de Barreales Restaurant, a fine place to taste a wide choice of delicious Peruvian food and Pisco sours.  Back to your hotel and overnight.
 (B) (L) (D)

Day 04, Colchagua – Santiago 
Today after breakfast, visit the local Museum located at a short walking distance from the hotel.  It is one of the best anthropological and historical museums in South America. We will learn about the pre-Columbian inhabitants of Chile and South America, the first European settlers and their way of life as well as many other interesting details that will help us to better appreciate this region.  Santa Cruz is the heart of Chile’s wine country and the traditional “huaso” culture (Chilean cowboy).  Here Chile’s traditions have its deepest roots as it is where the earliest settlers chose to start their families, during the late 1500’s, at a time when agriculture was the main economical activity of the Spanish colony.
Next, visit the Viu Manent winery, an intrinsic introduction to the history and tradition of Chilean wines.  The company has been fully owned by the family since its beginnings in 1935.  Don Miguel Viu Garcia and his two sons established “Bodegas Viu” in Santiago and now have acquired three vineyards in the Colchagua Valley, where their wines are now exclusively produced. Viu Manent has the perfect balance between tradition and modernity – centennial vineyards alongside more recent plantings and traditional barrel cellaring with state-of-the-art winery operations.   Here you will learn about the special characteristics of their wine and you are going to tour part of the vineyards on a carriage pulled by horses.  Along the way you are going to see some of the different varieties of grapes grown in the vineyard.  Next, enjoy a delicious lunch at the vineyard’s fine restaurant.
After a hearty lunch, the tour has concluded and it is time for the 2 1/2 hour drive back to Santiago where you will be dropped off at either your Hotel or the Airport for your connecting flight.
 (B) (L)

 

End of our services.

Includes: 

3 nights lodging according to program, bilingual guide plus driver, all program transfers in spacious private van, all meals according to program (B) = Breakfast, (L) = Lunch, (D) = Dinner, beverages, beer, wine.  Entrance fees to: vineyards, wine tasting events, museums, parks, archeological sites, etc.  Smaller groups quoted separately.

Not included in tour package:

Lodging and transfers prior to or after program. Personal items such as: telephone, laundry, room service, alcoholic beverages not mentioned as included, gratuities, and airfare. Sauna & SPA services are not included in some hotel rates.

NOTE:  Pionero Travel reserves the right to vary or cancel tours to museums, vineyards, or any visit due to operational conditions that do not allow the visit to be possible. These deviations to the planned itinerary are possible, although every effort will be made to keep them as they are presented, but if not, they will be substituted for others of same category or better.  In the case of special requests, for example, room locations and bed preferences at hotels, or modifications of tours and visits during your stay with us… cannot be guaranteed by Pionero Travel.  While we will attempt to accommodate such special requests, we cannot be held responsible if such special requests cannot be fulfilled.

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