Discover 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 Casablanca, Colchagua and Maipo 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. In the Maipo Valley, you will visit the famous Haras de Pirque winery. Not only known for its elegant wines, but also for being an award-winning thoroughbred stud farm. 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 first-rate wine. On this tour filled with aromatic reds and whites, you are guaranteed to have your thirst piqued and your senses aroused.
Discovering Chile’s Wine Country | 6 Days – 5 Nights
Day 1– Arrival in Santiago – The Casablanca Valley
Today a Pionero Guide and driver will meet you at the Santiago Airport and assist you with your luggage. Later we will start our first day of vineyard experience. We will head towards the Casablanca Valley, which is located between the Coastal Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Vineyards have grown here since 1875, but only since the 1980’s was the true potential of this Valley discovered, when, it was determine that the soils and the conditions were in many ways similar to the Napa and Sonoma Valleys in California. This valley is located in a temperate climate zone with semiarid tendencies, characterized by alternating short, relatively rainy winters and long, continually dry summers. The valley is oriented in such a way that daily ocean breezes cool the grapes on the vines and result in intensely fruity wines. The tallness and massiveness of the coastal range create a unique topography that causes striking daily and seasonal air current changes in the valley thus generating a very special micro climate. Additionally, very favorable sunlight conditions influence the grape ripening process, creating unique conditions that provide its wines with special features.
Our first visit will be Quintay Winery. Quintay has a newly completed state-of-art winery in Chile, which officially opened in March 2009. The winery is designed to meet the increased domestic and export demand for the wines and has been designed to allow for long-term growth, but allowing the team to harvest individual blocks within the multitude of vineyards that we have to source from, which allows for true expression of vineyard characteristics. After our wine tasting you will enjoy lunch at Casa Botha Restaurant located just few minutes from Quintay.
After our delicious lunch, we will head to Matetic Vineyard, where you will check in at their exclusive hotel. The building in which the hotel is located is of colonial style from the early 1900 surrounded by beautiful gardens.
At a pre arranged time during the afternoon you will visit the Cellars. The Matetic Vineyard was designed by their team in cooperation with the architect Lawrence Odfjell. It is a state-of-the-art winemaking facility, constructed so as to complement its glorious setting. In other words, harmony has been reached between the winery´s organic agricultural practices and the natural landscape of the valley. This winery, which has a 300 thousand-liter capacity, relies on a gravitational-flow design that optimizes management of the grapes brought in from the nearby vineyards. During the tour, you will learn about the different phases of wine production while appreciating stunning views of the vineyards and the beautiful Rosario Valley.
Day 2 – The Maipo Valley
Today, after breakfast, a Pionero Travel bilingual guide and driver who will take you to the famous Maipo Valley. This Valley is considered to produce the finest red wines of Chile, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. This is the area in Chile that initiated the grand history of Chilean wine production, marked by the planting of the first and the finest French varieties by the Pioneer Silvestre Ochagavia, around 1840.
After an approximate hour and a half drive to the south, your first visit will be to the Almaviva Winery. In 1997, Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, Chairman of the Advisory Board of Baron Philippe de Rothschild SA, and Eduardo Guilisasti Tagle, Chairman of Viña Concha y Toro S.A., sealed a partnership agreement with a view to create an exceptional Franco-Chilean wine called Almaviva. Produced under the joint technical supervision of both partners, the first vintage achieved immediate international success upon its launch in 1998.
After this interesting visit you will be taken towards the coast to visit another famous Chilean vineyard, Santa Rita. Founded in 1880, Santa Rita promoted the introduction of the finest French vine stocks, which resulted in the production of wines using advanced techniques and in return rendering results far superior to those previously achieved. Since then Viña Santa Rita has established itself as a modern wine producing enterprise and at the same time, became an important cultural and political center.
Before touring their installations, you will have a delicious and elegant lunch at the Doña Paula restaurant, located right inside the Santa Rita vineyard. The combination of service and food result in a delectable meal. An extra bonus is that you will be lunching in a national monument where Bernardo O´Higgins, the general who achieved independence for Chile, and 120 soldiers once took shelter after fighting the Spanish crown forces.
After our delicious lunch, we will drive approx. 30 minutes towards Jorge Leteliers´s home.
Beginning this fall, we will be offering clients the extraordinary experience of staying in the home of Jorge Letelier, perhaps Chile’s most renowned interior designer. For the first time, Letelier is opening up his stunning home to a handful of guests – and those guests will be treated to an unforgettable stay. The colonial-era home is located just a half-hour away from the loud buzz of Santiago. But from its perch on a cliff above the Maipo River, surrounded by expansive gardens, and within short distance of some of Chile’s most famous vineyards, it feels much farther away than that.
Letelier’s signature style couples modern art with ancient indigenous artifacts, making a stay at the house both a uniquely Chilean and truly international experience. Guests will immediately note Letellier’s yen for original art and his keen eye for details: clients staying in one room may have an original Rodin statue as a roommate; a pre-Roman goat statue reigns over the home’s modern kitchen. Outside, the garden hides several patios, each ideal for drinking a pre-lunch aperitif while craning the neck skyward toward the mammoth Andes or admiring the view of the river, framed by vineyards.
Enjoy Cocktails and dinner at this amazing place.
(B) (L) (D)
Day 3 – The Maipo Valley
After breakfast, you will visit one of Chile’s most famous vineyards, Haras de Pirque where you will be welcomed by a bilingual guide who will lead you to a panoramic view of this vineyard. The property, today covering 600 hectares, gently ascends the lower slopes of a spur of the Andes Mountains. On these foothills, between 1992 and 1993, one hundred and twenty hectares of vineyards were planted, mainly with the reds Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère, and the whites Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Haras de Pirque’s name honors the country´s oldest thoroughbred breeding stud, founded in 1892. The stud has four extensively pedigreed stallions that have sired exceptional offspring. The farm’s success is reflected by a long succession of trophies won in the nation’s main horseracing events and an unrivaled leadership in all of the sport’s local categories: broodmare sires, stallions and general standings. In addition, the haras is a prominent supplier for breeders and owners in South and North America, and maintains approximately 30 racehorses in the national competition circuit.
Along with winegrowing and thoroughbred raising, Eduardo Matte (owner) gives free rein to his other passions, one of which is the collecting of old carriages, all drawn by suitably bred horses. The collection currently features 18 models with a stable of 30 horses that, together with four thoroughbred stallions and nearly two hundred mares and foals, trot and gallop through Haras de Pirque’s wide, green pastures.
Later, we will visit La Montaña Winery for a typical Chilean lunch. La Montaña (The Mountain), takes its name from one of the fundamental geomorphologic elements of this territory; located at 700 meters above the sea level, the enological objective of La Montaña is to produce high quality wines that reflect the environmental conditions of Maipo Alto. Founded in the year 2000 with a different concept linked to the search for elevation with significant presence of native flora.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cot, and Petit Verdot currently coexist in an initial 4 hectares of vineyards, which will be extended to 20 hectares. With a yield of 3,000 kilos per hectare, its enological objective is to produce high quality concentrated wines that reflect the environmental conditions of the zone through an assemblage that brings together the best attributes of each variety.
The tour of this vineyard will begin with a 45 minutes trekking through an interesting trail, where you can find a wide variety of native flora and fauna [optional]. After, you will tour La Montaña cellars and enjoy tasting their great wines.
Return to Jorge Letelier´s home for Cocktails and dinner… and why not… a fun cooking class will be waiting for you!
(B) (L) (D)
This morning, after getting organized, you will travel approx. 2 hours South through the Pan–American highway. On your way, you are going to appreciate wonderful views of Chile’s wine country, like the Cachapoal & Colchagua Valley one of Chile’s main wine producing regions. Your first stop will be at theAltaïr winery.
Day 4 – The Colchagua Valley
Altaïr is located in the Cachapoal valley, close to the town of Requínoa. Perhaps the principal factors that lend character and complexity to their wine are their proximity to the mountains and the cool breezes that come down causing a natural temperature oscillation in the vineyard of 25° and up, allowing them to extend the natural maturation of the fruit on the vine. The resulting wines exhibit delicate and soft tannins, bright aromas, and a freshness and natural acidity rare in the new world. The wines are concentrated, but above all the stamp the Upper Cachapoal valley brings to their wines a remarkable finesse and elegance.
A unique workspace, where, through their patient and steadfast efforts, the secrets of our terroir, it´s flavors and spirit are slowly revealed, vintage by vintage. Its location on the very piedmont gives character to its wines and allows for the natural use of gravity throughout the wine making process.
After visiting their exquisite installations, you will head South again towards the Colchagua Valley to the Casa Silva winery. Founded in 1892 by French wine pioneer and ancestor Emilio Bouchon, Casa Silva is now owned by Mario Silva and family – the fifth generation of winemakers. Many of the vines planted are over 90 years old, carried over from Bordeaux, pre-phylloxera, by the first generation. Previously selling their juice to larger, bulk wineries, Casa Silva began a bold, estate bottling program in 1997. Now, the Silva Family is viewed as a leader of the new generation of premium wine producers, and their wines have received international acclaim. Accolades include being the most awarded Chilean winery in 2000 international competition – taking 20% of all Gold Medals – as well as winning “The Best South American Producer” at the 2000 International Wine & Spirits Competition on London. After a visit to the cellars you will enjoy lunch at the exclusive Vineyard´s restaurant.
After lunch, we will head south to Santa Cruz at the Colchagua Valley. This region is both the heart of Chile’s wine country and also the heart of the traditional “Huaso” (Chilean cowboy). Here, Chile has its deepest roots and is where the earliest settlers started their families during the late 1500’s, at a time when agriculture was the main economic activity of the Spanish colony.
Here we will settle in at the Clos Apalta winery in the Casa Lapostolle guesthouse.
This revolutionary winery is 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.
Four “casitas”, nestled into the native forested hillside of the valley, provide serenity and privacy. Terraces offer ideal settings for quiet contemplation or intimate meals. Each “casita”, named Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Carmenère in devotion to the varieties planted in the Apalta vineyard, has a magnificent view of the valley and provides a private and peaceful environment that is harmonious with the local landscape. In the evening, we will have an exquisite cocktail and dinner at Casa Lapostolle with impressive views of the Colchagua Valley. Overnight.
(B) (L) (D)
Today after breakfast, visit the local museum, one of the best anthropological and historical museums in South America. Here you 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 you to better appreciate this region.
Day 5 – The Colchagua Valley
After this interesting visit, you will visit the Montgras Winery. This beautifully neat vineyard represents the concrete testimony of the development and the desire to do things right and that have always characterized the Gras brothers, Hernán and Eduardo, along with partner Cristián Hartwig. They all joined together to give life to Viña MontGras in 1993, the first project of MontGras Properties.
MontGras has always had state-of-the-art technology in all its processes. It is no accident then, the great amount of international prizes that have recognized the professional work, the constant quality and the innovation of MontGras wines.
Your visit here will be one of a kind. After going through the vineyards and cellars, we will live the experience of becoming a winemaker while playing with flavors and aromas of different varieties, creating your own favorite blend. It is Montgras´ “Make your own wine” program that will allow you to blend three different grape varieties to stamp your identity and personal taste, obviously taking in to account the guide´s advice and expertise.
Next, you will return to Casa Lapostolle for a hearty lunch. At a pre arranged time during this afternoon, you will visit the Casa Lapostolle’s world-class winery installations and Cellars
Later enjoy cocktails and dinner
(B) (L) (D)
Day 6- The Colchagua Valley – Santiago Aiport
Today, your first visit will be to the Neyen de Apalta winery, where you may find the perfect blend of tradition and modernity. It was founded by the Rojas family in 2002 on the site of one of the area’s pioneering wineries that dates back to the late 19th century. The vineyards enjoy a privileged location within the horseshoe-shaped Apalta Valley: a small valley protected by the nearby Coastal Range from the winds that blow through the Tinguiririca River Canyon from the west.
Once we have visited their unique vineyards, of which some are over 120 years old, and their redesigned cellars, we will enjoy a unique experience in wine tasting. The idea is for you to learn how to distinguish different flavors, blends, characteristics, and qualities of wine in different temperatures. It is the perfect formula to acquire and share knowledge of how wine is delicately made. Carmenérè, the principal component of the blend, is complemented by the potency of the Cabernet Sauvignon; together they allow you to capture the “Spirit of Apalta” in every one of their bottles and offer the finest wine possible.
Later we will drive back to Casa Lapostolle to enjoy a great farewell lunch!
Later, farewell to the Colchagua Valley and to the friends you have made here. You will head off in the van with fond memories of a truly unique experience. The drive is approximately 2.5 hours and your driver and guide will take you to Santiago de Chile’s International airport for your flight back home.
End of Our Services
1 night lodging at Matetic “ La Casona Guesthouse”, 2 nights lodging at Jorge Letelier´s , 2 nights lodging at Clos Apalta guest house.
Bilingual guide plus driver, all program transfers in spacious fully equipped private vans, all meals as indicated (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner, beverages, beer and wine. Entrance fees for: vineyards, wine tasting events, museums, etc.
Not Included in tour package:
Flights, 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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