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Chile’s vendimia season: A wine-lover’s dream

Chile’s wine regions
Because of this new-found popularity, many travelers come to Chile wanting to sample its wines. But where are the best wine regions? Well, head to the Valle Central, where the Mediterranean-like climate has been described as a cross between California and France’s. Thanks to this great climate and protection from cool ocean winds provided by Chile's coastal mountain ranges, a hub of vineyards and wineries have made their home here in the Maipo, Colchagua, Curicó, Casablanca and Maule Valleys, among others. From internationally-recognized giants to tiny family-run boutiques and organic producers, in Chile you’ll find wine to love.

Vineyards at sunset.jpg
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Vineyards at sunset

Get to know Chile's wineries
As with most travel options, wine tourism (also called enotourism) is no one-size fits all affair. On a wine tour, visitors will always spend time tasting wines and learning about the craft of winemaking. However, their tour might also cycling, walking, a historical or cultural focus, or lunch at a typical restaurant. Some tours are day-long events, like this premium triple-winery tour, while others can be sneakily slipped in as part of day’s sightseeing (this half-day tour is a good example). Still others are multi-day extravaganzas where long wine sampling sessions are punctuated by nights spent in memorable hotels or sampling gourmet cuisine.

Wine tasting in Chile
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The grape harvest, or vendimia
You can visit Chile’s vineyards at any time of year, however we suggest that those wanting to experience something a little different plan to visit in March and April, when the country’s wine regions play host to a slew of festivals celebrating the vendimia, or grape harvest.

During the vendimia, the main plazas and streets of many of the region’s prettiest towns welcome wineries big and small as they show off their premium wines. But wine, though the great star, is not all that’s on show. Visitors also treat their taste buds to gourmet delights such as sheep’s milk and goat’s cheese, sauces, chocolates, cured meats, sea salt, artisanal ice cream and sweets. Further along, artisans, painters and other craftspeople present their wares, while in the evening, national and Latin American acts take to the stage to entertain the crowds.

Visitors design their days as they please. Feel like savoring a couple of select wines on a picnic blanket? Or would you prefer to stay on late to watch folk music, traditional dancers, and bands play on into the small hours? However you prefer to celebrate, Chile’s vendimia season is the perfect excuse for Dionysian-types (and wannabe wine lovers) to eat well, visit new corners in Chile, and of course, pay homage to its wine!

Bike and wine tour
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Cycling is a great way to visit Chile's wineries.

Love wine?

  • We run a selection of wine-tasting tours from half to full-day. They’re not far from Santiago and are a fabulous way to kick off your holiday or color your time in the capital!
  • Santa Cruz, Isla de Maipo, Peralillo, Rengo, and Curicó are some of the towns that host vendimia celebrations. Ask us for more information on how to be part of the festivities.
  • Chile’s grape-producing regions are the tip of the iceberg in the Valle Central. Why not see Santiago by bike or visit Valparaíso after your wine adventure?
  • If you like wine we bet you wouldn’t say no to excellent food. The good news? Santiago is one of the world’s newest foodie paradises.