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CHILEAN WINE TOUR EXPERIENCE

Chile is a land of incredible contrasts, from the dry Atacama desert in the north, the the ice, snow and glacial lakes of the south. It is the longest and thinnest country in the world, measuring over 4300km (2700 miles) from north to south and only 240km (150 miles) from east to west. Chile is also famous for the incredible Torres del Paine, considered by many to be the finest nature travel destination in South America.

 

Fast Facts

All year

When: All Year

Best: October to March

Tours: 8 Days

Hotels

Chile Wine Tour Itinerary

 

Day-1 Santiago

Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your wine expert guide and transferred to the Ritz Carlton Hotel. In the afternoon you will start the exploration of the city at the San Francisco  Church built between 1572 and 1618. Then you will visit the "club Hipico" horse-racing track, which is considered one of the most beautiful tracks in South America, before passing the Palacio de la Moneda, currently seat of the government and continue on to visit the Plaza de Armas where you will see important national monuments such as the Cathedral, the Main Post Office and the City Hall. You will go on to the beautifully landscaped Santa Lucia Hill where the city was founded in 1541. After crossing the Mapocho River, you will pass through different residential districts to gain a general impression of the city. You will enjoy your exclusive dinner at the new W-Hotel Santiago. While sampling some of Chile's premium wines, you will be introduced to the Chilean art of winemaking by your wine expert tour guide. (D)

 

Day-2 Santiago - Chillan Vineyards

After breakfast you will be transferred to Santiago's Airport to board a short flight to Concepcion where the legendary Bio Bio River meets the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival at Concepcion, your journey continues east towards Bulnes. Here in the Itata Valley - one of Chile's southernmost wine growing regions - you will be welcomed at the first of the many surprising wineries throughout your trip. Much of the vine planting is located on the eastern slopes of the coastal mountains amongst pine forests. The climate is similar to the Maule Valley but tending to be more humid. Soils are predominantly reddish-brown volcanic sand, suitable for red and white varieties.

 

The winemakers of the Tierra y Fuego Winery will show you their facilities and you will participate in a premium wine tasting. Organic production here include 16 different grapevine stocks; this allows you to sample the majority of all wines grown in Chile. The Swiss-owned and award winning Tierra y Fuego is the vineyard that produces the greatest variety of Chilean wines, it is the only one that has produced white wines from Malbec and Merlot grapes, they produce French cask wines of grape and also produce traditional vine stock such as Carmenere, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Zinfandel, Semillon, Hermitage and Gewurztraminer. Lunch and dinner at the winery's homely restaurant with its exquisite culinary offer. Overnight at the small Guest house of the Chillan winery. (B,D,L)

 

Day-3  Itata Valley - Quinamavida Spa - Gillmore Winery & Vineyards

In the morning you will continue your journey leaving the Itata Valley to head up north to the distinguished Maule Valley. The Maule Valley is the most extensive winemaking region in Chile with the greater part of its vineyards in the valley and on the slopes of the coastal mountains. Many white varieties, predominantly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, and many red varieties, mainly Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and recently Carmenere, are produced here.

 

Before entering the Maule Region, you will stop for lunch at the colonial style Quinamavida Spa & Resort to enjoy lunch and the hot springs. Once you arrive at the idyllic Maule River Valley with its rolling green hills, you will visit one of Chile's prime boutique vineyards strategically located in the heart of the valley, home to Chile's most extensive wine growing region. The Gillmore Winery & Vineyards are a family business created in 1990 by Francisco Gillmore, in joint venture with his daughter and his son-in-law. The annual production of the Gillmore vineyard is 25,000 bottles, consisting exclusively of ultra premium red wines. Wine tasting, superb meals and overnight in the very exceptional Hotel Tabonko that belongs to the vineyard, characterized by its gardens, lagoon, pool, private zoo, creative architecture and activities being offered. (B,L,D)

 

Day-4  Gillmore Vinery - The Maule Train - Gillmore Vinery

After an early breakfast you will leave for the nearby train station in Talca. Today you will discover part of the genuine Chilean country life on board a very remarkable train ride alongside the beautiful Maule River Valley. The tracks between Talca and the coastal city of Constitucion are some of the last ones in Chile still used by passenger trains. The laid-back convoy consisting of the engine and a single car follows the Rio Maule and sometimes stops in the middle of a field to let people get off and on. It reaches Constitucion after 2.5 hours. Upon arrival in Constitucion, you will be driven to the beautiful beach where you can walk on the black lava sand and appreciate its high imposing rock cliffs. For lunch, you will enjoy recently caught fish in one of the small restaurants along the waterfront. After lunch your vehicle will take you back to Tabonko Hotel,where you can enjoy the facilities of the hotel, ride a Chilean horse or relax by the pool. Dinner and overnight at Tabonko Hotel. (B,L,D)

 

Day-5: Gillmore Vinery - Bisquertt Vinery (Colchagua Valley)

Today you will leave the Maule wine region and continue your wine trip to the celebrated Colchagua Wine Valley. This valley stands  out as the zone par excellence for the Carmenere variety and remarkable Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. The valley is home to Chile's new boutique wineries that produce almost exclusively for export. At the heart of central Chile, Colchagua combines the best of country traditions, hospitality and modern winery, setting new standards in wine production as well as an example in local development and integration through cooperation at all levels.

 

Overnight and dinner at the colonial-style Guest house of Vina Bisquertt; Las Majadas de Colchagua. There, the old family house has been remodelled to provide excellent accommodations as well as an inviting wine cellar.  (B,L,D)

 

Day-6:  Colchagua Valley

After only a short ride you will arrive at Viu Manent Vineyard - it played an important part in the history and tradition of Chilean wines. The company has been exclusively owned by the family since its inauguration in1935 and it is famous for its outstanding reds and enchanting whites. After tasting of some of their premium wines, lunch will be served at Viu Manent's new restaurant located in an old colonial construction called La Llaveria. This restaurant offers a menu that reflects the exceptional gourmet tradition of the Colchagua Valley. In creating the menu, these masters of fine cuisine were inspired to find the best food pairings for the Viu Manent wines. The restaurant offers a fascinating ambience, with tables both indoors and outside, and an excellent service to make your visit an unforgettable experience.

 

Later in the afternoon, you will visit the Colchagua Museum, which is around the corner of your hotel. It is the biggest private collection in South America, exhibiting paleontological, archaeological, pre- Colombian and colonial Spanish artifacts. Apart from these samples, it includes thematic pavilions about the modernity, history, and development of arms, Huaso riding gears, coaches and carriages, agricultural machinery and pavilions on railways and automobiles. (B,D,L)

 

Day-7: Santa Cruz - Montes - San Antonio Valley

After breakfast, you will leave for the reputed Montes Vineyard. After sampling Montes first-rate premium wines you will explore local flora on the vineyard's estate; during your hike you will be able to distinguish more than a hundred varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers, always accompanied by the spectacular view of the Colchagua Valley.

 

Afterwards we will leave the Colchagua-Valley and drive through the 'Ruta de Sol' toward the San Antonio Wine Valley, near Valparaiso. This route is a great alternative to Chile's main highway since it keeps most of the quaint appearance from the old times.

We arrive to the impressive Matetic Winery. The Matetic Family has been pioneers in cultivating Syrah in the cool climate of the San Antonio Valley. In the old soil of granite origin, the fruit ripens slowly giving the highest quality grapes.  The organic technique of caring for the vines allows them to preserve their natural balance and express their authentic characteristics. The optimum quality of the grapes, the careful attention to every detail, and the passion for Syrah give life to this truly exceptional wine.

Overnight and dinner in La Casona de Vina Matetic. (B,D,L)

 

Day-8: Valparaiso - Santiago

After breakfast we will visit Valparaiso; where you will be able to experience the oldest and most important port of Chile. Valparaiso's picturesque layout, enhanced by the surrounding hills that seem to dive into the ocean, remind us that this was once the most important maritime destination of the Pacific coast before the Strait of Panama as opened to navigation in 1914.

 

In the afternoon we will finish our journey arriving to Santiago Airport. (B)

 

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