Top 5: Chilean Wine Touring
For wine connoisseurs and novices alike, there are certain countries that spring to mind when traveling the world to sample fine wines: some of the obvious wine destinations include Italy, France, and even Portugal for their famous Port wine. But for a more unique and exotic experience, perfect for a winter getaway, Chile is home to some of South America’s most lovely and historic wine regions and is the fifth largest exporter of wine in the world.
#1 Colchagua Valley
The most visited wine destination of Chile is the Colchagua Valley, with its deluxe properties and sprawling vineyards. This region is known to be Chile’s Napa Valley, and is home to some of Chile’s oldest vineyards. The hot climate is perfect for full-bodied, concentrated red wines with ripe tannins. The refined wines in this part of the country are elegant and burst with dark fruit falvored red wines, including Merlots, Malbecs and Syrahs. For the fullest experience, suggest an unforgettable hot-air balloon ride over the countryside.
#2 Aconcagua Valley
One stop that can’t be missed on a wine tour through Chile is the scenic Aconcagua Valley. Approximately 40 miles north of the capital city of Santiago, Aconcagua Valley lies just below Mt. Aconcagua, which is the tallest mountain within the Americas. The water of melted snow from the surrounding mountains is actually used to help irrigate the vines. The area is most well-known for the red grapes grown in the region but recently the valley has become a promising producer of white wines as well thanks to coastal plantations. The river valley is also home to excellent outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, biking and mountaineering, perfect for travelers who like a little adventure.
#3 San Antonio Valley
Another notable Chilean, yet small and quaint, wine region is San Antonio Valley, which derives its name from its proximity to the coastal city. Being so close to the Pacific Ocean (vines within the valley can be as close to 2 ½ miles from the sea), the cooling effect helps the vines to thrive. The small region is relatively new and its porous granite soil makes it most famous for their pinot noir, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc. While in the area, suggest enjoying a horse ride into the unique local terrain, observing local plants and animals.
#4 Casablanca Valley
Northwest of Santiago, the Casablanca Valley is distinct from the other wine regions in Chile for its cool climate, rolling mountain ridges, and ocean breeze. The more crisp temperatures help to turn out equally crisp and refreshing wines. The conditions are ideal for whites, such as sauvignon blanc and chardonnay, both of which Casablanca Valley is famous for.
#5 Maipo Valley
Located just south of Santiago, the defining grape of Maipo Valley is the Cabernet Sauvignon, which dominates the area. The Maipo Valley is home to traditional, established wineries that have honed their specialties in recent decades, and is never a disappointment for travelers looking to experience the best wines. The Maipo Valley spans from the Pacific coast to the foothills of the Andes, enjoying a Mediterranean climate that is ideal for many grape varietals. The region is home to many historic sites, including old gold and copper mines of Naltahua.
These are just a few of the many diverse and top quality regions throughout Chile. The picturesque, rolling hills of the vineyards are a sight to see and travelers will want a taste of the spicy red wines and the fresh whites that make the country one of the top ten wine producers worldwide.