Introduced in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors and missionaries, viticulture in Chile has reached remarkable heights and the nation is currently the fifth largest exporter of wines.
A visit to Santiago is incomplete without going on a tour of the wineries that dot the outskirts of the city or on a wine-tasting tour. Here are three grand old wineries that thrive in the cool Mediterranean climate at the foot of the Andes Mountains.
Vino Concha y Toro
This historic winery established by Don Melchor Concha y Toro in 1883 is the largest producer of wines in South America.
The tours take you through their gardens and the Estate House, the former summer residence of the founding family. Visitors are introduced to 26 varieties of grapes grown on the Old Pirque Vineyard as well as the cellars before a session of wine-tasting.
Address: Virginia Subercaseaux 210, Pirque
Phone: + 56 2 476 5000
Errazuriz counts among the oldest and largest wineries in the country with over 345 acres of top-notch French vines. Founded in 1870 by Don Maximiano Errazuriz, this iconic family-run brand features regularly in the global Top 100 Wineries list. Situated in the picturesque Aconcagua Valley, the vineyard is a 90-minute drive from Santiago.
The tour includes visit to their state-of-the-art Icon Winery, underground cellars and well as the vineyards.
Address: Calle Antofagasta, Panquehue
Phone: + 56 34 591 087
Vina San Esteban
San Esteban was the brainchild of Jose Vicente and offers a memorable experience on their expansive vineyards. Besides the obligatory, wine-tasting sessions, you can go for a leisurely walk through the vines on the slopes of Paidahuen Hill to the sounds of the gurgling stream at the bottom of the hill.
You can also enjoy outdoor activities like horse-back riding, hiking or hire a bike as you discover the beauty of the place. Don’t miss the Paidahuen Archaeological Park which features petroglyphs attributed to the Incas.
Address: San Esteban, Los Andes, Chile
Phone: +56 3 4248 1050