While most people think of France or Italy when it comes to good wine, Chile is frequently ranked in international competitions. The country’s climate provides the perfect conditions for wine grape growing harvests. For this reason, I always recommend that those touring Santiago take the time to pass by at least one vineyard during their visit to Chile. Whether you prefer Cabernet, Carmenere, or Syrah, make sure to drop by one of these vineyards to test out your wine tasting skills.
Distance: 40 km from Santiago
Tourists often choose Undurraga as their favorite winery to visit due to its small, family-owned feel. While other tours are usually packed with guests, my tour of Undurraga felt more personalized. The tour itself lasts around 1.5 hours, which I thought was the perfect amount of time to see the grounds. As you explore the site with your English-speaking guides, you’ll learn the history behind both Viña Undurraga as well as Chilean wine in general. At the end of the tour, you’ll learn how to taste wine like a professional!
Some fun facts
- Roses are planted around the edges of the wine grapes as a form of pest control. If it’s noticeable that the roses are being attacked/eaten, the workers know the area is being invaded. Therefore, they do not lose any of the crops.
- In 1903, Undurraga became the first Chilean vineyard to export to the U.S. (source)
- This winery dates back to the 1880s, when the owner, Francisca Undurraga Vicuña, began bringing European grapes to Chile.
Guided visits at Undurraga can be booked for any day of the week. Monday to Friday: 10.15 a.m., 12 p.m., 2.00 p.m., and 3.30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays: 10:15, 12:00, and 15:30.
2. SANTA RITA
Distance: 43 km from Santiago
One of the cool things about Santa Rita is that the company offers an array of different tours. You have your traditional tour, a tour on a bicycle, and even the winemaker experience where you have the opportunity to create your own wine in an enology laboratory. Besides the vineyard, this property also houses the owner’s Andean museum, where visitors can see pieces dating back from the Pre-Columbian period.
Some fun facts
- Santa Rita was awarded the title “Winery of the Year” in 2016 by the Chilean wine industry’s trade association. (source)
- Over 200 years ago, during the time of the Chilean war for Independence, the property was owned by Paula Jaraquemada. She is best known for her efforts during the war as she hid Bernardo O’Higgins and 120 other soldiers in her cellars after they fought against the Spanish crown.
Tours at Santa Rita run Tuesdays-Sundays. The traditional tour in English is at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. I always recommend booking in advance, which can be done quickly online here.
3. COUSIÑO MACUL
Distance: 14 km from Santiago
Cousiño Macul offers one of the shorter vineyard tours; however, it’s an excellent opportunity for travelers looking for a quick option to see a Chilean winery. In fact, of the four vineyards, I’m going to mention, Cousiño Macul is also the closest to Santiago.
Some fun facts
- Grapes have been cultivated in the Macul area for over 400 years when the Spanish king granted the Macul hacienda to a conquistador.
- The Macul estate, where Viña Cousiño Macul is located, was purchased in 1856. This was when the first vines were planted.
- The Cousiño family still owns the land and runs the winery in the present day.
Tours at Cousiño Macul should always be booked in advance. You can find more information about the tours offered here, including the regular tour, premium tour, and bicycle tour. You can book the bicycle tour by clicking here.
4. CONCHA Y TORO
Distance: 42 km from Santiago
Concha y Toro is a particularly exciting vineyard as it is the largest producer of wine in Latin America. So, if you are looking to see how a huge wine company operates, this is the tour for you. There are two different types of tours offered at Concha y Toro, one being the traditional tour and the other the Marques de Casa Concha tour. Depending on the time of year, this vineyard can often be packed with visitors. However, the beautiful grounds make the property worth the visit.
Some fun facts
- Concha y Toro was founded in 1883 by Don Melchor Concha y Toro.
- The first time Concha y Toro exported wine was in 1933, to Holland.
- In 1994, Concha y Toro became the first winery in the world to trade its shares on the New York Stock Exchange (source).
Both the traditional and Marques da Casa Concha tour are offered every day and can be booked ahead of time here. While the Marques da Casa Concha tour is more expensive, I recommend it as you can do an extra wine tasting that is paired with cheeses.