Exploring Chile’s Wine Region in a Day Trip from Santiago
Chile is known internationally for the quality of its wine, and a visit to wine country is a great addition to a visit. There are extensive wine regions throughout the central part of the country. Many visitors have heard of the famed Colchagua Valley, but while Colchagua is an excellent place to spend a couple days, it’s a little too far from Santiago for a day trip with wine touring. For those interested in a day in Chile’s wine country, there are several valleys closer to Santiago that produce some of the country’s best wines, and make for an easy over-and-back from your base in Santiago.
In terms of travel time, the Maipo Valley is probably the easiest option for a quick visit from Santiago, as it starts just toward the southern outskirts of the city. Several wineries there can be reached within 30-40 minutes of most any hotel in the city, allowing plenty of time to tour the grounds, have a pre-lunch tasting, a gourmet lunch, and be back to Santiago in time for “once” (Chile’s afternoon tea/snack time). My favorite in Maipo is the Santa Rita Winery, which grows 3 brands of grapes on this property (which also has historic significance) and has a very nice restaurant.
If you want to get a little further outside of the city, the ticket is to head west, toward Valparaiso, and visit a winery in either the Casablanca Valley or San Antonio Valley. Casablanca has a plethora of vineyards; however, many are situated along the highway, so for a more peaceful setting, head to Casas del Bosque, just about 10 minutes off the main highway. The grounds are beautiful and large, and the restaurant is great. About 20 minutes off the main highway you’ll find Matetic, a famed family-owned boutique winery which produces outstanding reds and whites. The grounds are gorgeous, and the restaurant is undeniably one of the best of any of the Chilean wineries. The drive door-to-door is closer to an hour for these wineries, so still very reasonable for a day trip.
If you’re planning a trip with a couple or more nights in Santiago, don’t hesitate to ask us about incorporating a wine tour into the trip. It’s easy, cost-effective (when compared to multi-day tours with overnights) and a great way to pass a day in Central Chile.