Chilean wines have grown in popularity in recent years. They have found their way onto menus across the world and have sparked a new interest in visiting the South American country. A tour of a Chile winery is a great alternative to a more physically demanding vacation, or it can be a good break in between adventurous days of hiking, fishing, and kayaking. Visiting vineyards in Chile is now a booming element of the country's tourism industry, as people travel from across the world to taste the wine where it is made.
A few factors contribute to the success of Chilean wine. The central area of the country boasts natural conditions that are ideal for growing grapes. While the desert is dry in the north and southern areas such as Tierra del Fuego are too cold, the core of Chile is just right for winemaking. Vineyards in Chile are virtually bug-free, which contributes to the ideal conditions. The foothills of the Andes Mountains are the location of some of the best Chile wineries, where growing conditions are superb.
Only in the 1980s was Chilean wine allowed to develop its full potential. Prior to this time, the country did not have the economic or political support to create successful vineyards. In the last 30 years, the recognition of perfect natural conditions for winemaking has lead to the development of wines in Chile. A visit to a Chile winery will relay the history and struggle of winemaking, as well as provide a taste of the final product. Today, Chile produces some of the finest and most affordable wines the continent has to offer. These prices are reflected in international wine shops as well, and many wine-lovers have come to recognize the quality of Chilean wine for a fair price.
If you wish to tour a Chile winery, this can be arranged prior to arrival or once you’ve tasted the wine with a meal. Many visitors come to Chile without the intention of visiting vineyards, but find themselves getting involved in the winemaking process, such as through wine tours. There are a few areas that are especially well known vineyards in Chile, including the wine valleys of Maule, Cachapoal, Maipo, Elqui, Casablanca, and Colchagua. Popular individual wineries include Concha y Toro Winery and Cousino Macul Winery. There are almost 100 wineries in Chile and many varieties to taste.
A trip to a Chilean winery may just spark a new, affordable habit. Wines from Chile are widely available at shops in the US and Europe and in restaurants. Wineries offer great deals on purchases, especially on cases of wine, and typically they will ship a case home for you. Tours of wineries are available in Spanish and English, depending on the location; researching in advance will ensure that you find wineries with English-language tours, if necessary. No trip to Chile would be complete without tasting some of their acclaimed wines, and there is no better place to do so than at the source itself.