Although there are no wine growing estates within the bustling city itself, there are hundreds of vineyards near Santiago, Chile that can be easily reached – making the capital city an ideal base for intrepid wine enthusiasts travelling to South America.
Chile is a long and slender country that is crammed within a 2,600-mile strip of land between the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Andes mountains on the other. Fortunately, most of the country’s premier wine regions are situated in the so-called Central Valley close to the country’s largest city.Despite the close proximity of vineyards near Santiago, there is an incredibly diversity of landscapes, terroirs and mesoclimates in the Central Valley that give rise to a variety of different wine styles ranging from the country’s trademark reds to some interesting white styles that have won international applause.
Wines from a typical Santiago vineyard estate tend to focus on Chile’s renowned red blends, which are usually dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon accompanied by the likes of Merlot, Pinot Noir or Syrah. The country can also claim some of the world’s finest Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay white varietals.With so many Santiago vineyards within touching distance, Chile is one of the few countries in the world of wine tourism where you can stay in one particular location and visit a different wine region every day by travelling between one and two hours in different directions.
The closest wine region to Santiago is also the oldest where French-inspired vineyards are largely responsible for producing the country’s signature Cabernet Sauvignon that lifted Chile into the international limelight – as well as some of the world’s finest Carmenere.
In the Maipo Valley, the vineyards near Santiago generally offer tours all year round – giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the region and wine making process before sampling some premium vintages – although harvest season for Cabernet Sauvignon is in April.The region is also home to the Cajon del Maipo, an awe inspiring natural retreat that is Santiago’s outdoor adventure centre where adrenaline fuelled visitors can take part in activities ranging from trekking and white water rafting to rock climbing.
However, it’s a few smaller wine regions with more youthful histories that have really been exciting wine experts in recent times…
To the north of the city, Santiago vineyards in the Casablanca Valley are among the most recently developed in Chile. Unlike many of their counterparts, it’s white wine styles that reign supreme here – with innovative boutique wineries with state of the art facilities producing splendidly crisp Sauvignon Cabernet and Chardonnay – as well as some impressive Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah.
Casablanca is also close to the coast towns of Vina del Mar and Valaparaiso, which is worth a visit if only to see the neighbourhoods of candy coloured houses that are scattered on hills reached from the natural harbour by ancient funiculars. Meanwhile, to the south of Santiago, vineyards in the San Antoino Valley have been heralded as another aspiring wine growing region that is earning international recognition for the quality of its Pinot Noir.
And further south still, are the two transverse valleys of Cachapoel, which is the best place to sample Chilean Shiraz, and Colchuaga, where the country’s finest single varietal Carménère and well-aged Bordeaux-style blends are found. With so many enviable Santiago vineyard estates to visit, there are wine tours that cover the entire Central valley region, including elaborate tastings, luxury overnight stays, fine dining opportunities and some unique outdoor experiences.
If you are interested in visiting vineyards near Santiago, Chile, contact Wine Paths local expert for more information and inspirational ideas before planning an exclusive, bespoke tour.
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