12 In Chile/ Food/ Travel

4 AWESOME VINEYARDS THAT ARE CLOSE TO SANTIAGO

Flickr Creative Commons, Image by Magalie L’Abbé

While most people think of France or Italy when it comes to good wine, Chile is frequently ranked in international competitions. In fact, the country’s climate provides the perfect conditions for wine grape growing harvests. For this reason, I always recommend that those touring Santiago take the time to pass by at least one vineyard during their visit to Chile. Whether you prefer Cabernet, Carmenere, or Syrah, make sure to drop by one of these vineyards to test out your wine tasting skills.

1. UNDURRAGA

Distance: 40 km from Santiago

Tourists often choose Undurraga as their favorite winery to visit due to its small, family-owned feel. While other tours are often packed with guests, my tour of Undurraga felt more personalized. The tour itself lasts around 1.5 hours, which I thought was the perfect amount of time to see the grounds. As your explore the site with your English-speaking guides, you’ll learn the history behind both Viña Undurraga as well as Chilean wine in general. At the end of the tour, you’ll learn how to taste wine like a professional!

Some fun facts

  • Roses are planted around the edges of the wine grapes as a form of pest control. If it’s noticeable that the roses are being attacked/eaten, the workers know the area is being invaded. Therefore, they do not lose any of the crop.
  • In 1903, Undurraga became the first Chilean vineyard to export to the U.S. (source)
  • This winery dates back to the 1880s, when the owner, Francisca Undurraga Vicuña, began bringing European grapes to Chile.

Guided visits at Undurraga can be booked for any day of the week. Monday to Friday: 10.15 a.m., 12 p.m., 2.00 p.m., and 3.30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays: 10:15, 12:00, and 15:30.
Reservations: [email protected] •

2. SANTA RITA

Distance: 43 km from Santiago

One of the really cool things about Santa Rita is that the company offers an array of different tours. You have your traditional tour, a tour on bicycle, and even the winemaker experience where you have the opportunity to create your own wine in an enology laboratory. Besides the vineyard, this property also houses the owner’s Andean museum, where visitors can see pieces dating back from the Pre-Columbian period.

Some fun facts

  • Santa Rita was awarded the title “Winery of the Year” in 2016 by the Chilean wine industry’s trade association. (source)
  • Over 200 years ago, during the time of the Chilean war for Independence, the property was owned by Paula Jaraquemada. She is best known for her efforts during the war as she hid Bernardo O’Higgins and 120 other soldiers in her cellars after they fought against the Spanish crown.

Tours at Santa Rita run Tuesdays-Sundays. The traditional tour in English is at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. I always recommend booking in advance, which can be done easily online here.

3. COUSIÑO MACUL

Distance: 14 km from Santiago

Cousiño Macul offers one of the shorter vineyard tours; however, it’s a great opportunity for travelers looking for a quick option to see a Chilean winery. In fact, of the four vineyards I’m going to mention, Cousiño Macul is also the closest to Santiago.

Some fun facts

  • Grapes have actually been cultivated in the Macul area for over 400 years, when the Spanish king granted the Macul hacienda to a conquistador. 
  • The Macul estate, where Viña Cousiño Macul is located, was purchased in 1856. This is when the first vines were planted.
  • The Cousiño family still owns the land and runs the winery in the present day.

Tours at Cousiño Macul should always be booked in advance. You can find more information about the tours offered here, including the regular tour, premium tour, and bicycle tour. You can book the bicycle tour by clicking here.

4. CONCHA Y TORO

Distance: 42 km from Santiago

Concha y Toro is a particularly interesting vineyard as it is actually the largest producer of wine in Latin America. So, if you are looking to see how an extremely large wine company operates, this is the tour for you. There are two different types of tours offered at Concha y Toro, one being the traditional tour and the other the Marques de Casa Concha tour. Depending on the time of year, this vineyard can often be packed with visitors. However, the beautiful grounds make the property worth the visit.

Some fun facts

  • Concha y Toro was founded in 1883 by Don Melchor Concha y Toro.
  • The first time Concha y Toro exported wine was in 1933, to Holland.
  • In 1994, Concha y Toro became the first winery in the world to trade it shares on the New York Stock Exchange (source).

Both the traditional and Marques da Casa Concha tour are offered everyday and can be booked ahead of time here. While the Marques da Casa Concha tour is more expensive, I recommend it as you are able to do an extra wine tasting that is paired with cheeses.

Which vineyard would you like to visit?

There are so many different vineyards to see around Santiago and often so little time! Here are the four best vineyards to tour on your trip to Chile.

Flickr Creative Commons, Photo by Byron Howes. Image was cropped.

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12 Comments

  • Reply
    Lena from fouronaworldtrip
    April 1, 2017 at 11:49 am

    thats great! I love wine which is kinda inevitable when living in France 😀 but I am not french so I am very open to drink wine from other regions haha!

    oh and the design of your page is very beautiful 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephanie Fox
    April 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I love wine from Chile! These sound like great wine tours I’ve never done one anywhere but it’s definitely something I’d love to do!

  • Reply
    Lia & Jeremy
    April 2, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Great post! We went wine tasting from Valparaiso recently but didn’t visit any of these! We just took a bus and then some taxis to see several gorgeous vineyards in Casablanca valley. Such a wonderful area!

  • Reply
    Natalie
    April 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    How interesting that roses are used to be the first line of defense for the important grape vines! Not only are they a great visual for critters that will eat their livelihood…they are a gorgeous way to protect the plants! Love it! Love the interesting tidbits you list.

  • Reply
    Ha Truong
    April 3, 2017 at 6:13 pm

    So interesting that those places are quite near to Santiago. This post is really detailed, and I love the fun facts that you gave. I haven’t tried wine tasting trips but will do it soon in Porto.

  • Reply
    Only By Land
    April 3, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    I always thought the vineyards were much further north than Santiago. Some of these you mention are so close they are virtually in the city itself! First on my list would be Santa RIta as it won winery of the year last year, that must be a hard title to win in a country with amazing wine!

  • Reply
    Suzanne
    April 4, 2017 at 8:23 am

    This is a great post. I think Chile offers really great wine (I’ve had stuff from Concha y Toro and Undurraga). Also, I can’t believe they use roses as pest control on the vineyards. It’s both a sad and beautiful fact.

  • Reply
    Rhiannon
    April 4, 2017 at 11:12 am

    I’m not a wine-drinker (or an anything drinker for that matter) so have never been to a vineyard before but have always wanted to! Mainly because they’re so gorgeous, but I’m also a little bit fascinated with the entire wine-making process.
    I was in Santiago last year and had I realised some of these were so close I probably would have tried to make it over to one! I like the sound of a bicycle tour around the Santa Rita vineyard!

  • Reply
    Global Girl Travels
    April 4, 2017 at 11:38 am

    I love wines and so vineyards are a natural place for me to explore. All of these listed here sound interesting. I love the look of Santa Rita though! And yes to bicycling on a vineyard – so romantic!

  • Reply
    Joanna
    April 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I have visited Chile in January and while in Santiago, I stayed with a friend who lives there. She booked tickets for us and we went to visit Vina Cousiño Macul. I really enjoyed the tour and their massive cellars, I think they were the most impressive one I’ve seen in Chile, with those uncountable number of barrels. Their wine was pretty good too and because we were the last tour of the day, we got to drink the entire bottle of their most expensive wine 🙂

  • Reply
    Iza c/o sydneyfashionhunter
    April 4, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    I read that it is also good to have a wine tasting and tour in Mercado, Chile. I would love to visit all these vineyards and taste the local cuisine too. This could be a good option to bring your date.

  • Reply
    Riely
    April 4, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    I have heard that Chile wine is really good. The Undurraga winery sounds particularly interesting to me since I do appreciate smaller family owned winers. They always feel more personal and a little more pleasant. I am quite interested in searching for some Chile wine in the store now. Thanks for sharing.

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