- See flamingos in the Atacama Desert
- Catch the sun setting over the Moai statues on Easter Island
- Enjoy a lamb BBQ and a spectacular horse ride
- Be awestruck by the dramatic granite pillars of Torres del Paine National Park
- Take an Australis Expedition cruise to see the Pia Glacier close up
- Book a day trip to the Maipo Valley for wonderful wine sampling
Chilean Wine - Peppery reds & spicy whites
Independent, award-winning wine writer and communicator, Sarah Ahmed, first visited Chile in 2002. Six years later, when she was asked to return to judge the Annual Chile Wine Awards, she was delighted to find a broader, more exciting portfolio of grape varieties, plus a host of new regions already firing on all cylinders. Here Sarah shares her knowledge of Chilean wines.
“Bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the snow-capped Andes to the east, desert to the north and chilly Antarctic influences to the south, it’s not surprising that long, thin Chile has an exciting diversity of climates - and a correspondingly wide number of wine styles” says Sarah.
“The country has long produced a choice of well-structured, deep fruited reds, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. Today, the best wines are from the cooler regions such as Elqui, San Antonio and Limari. They are deliciously juicy with lots of pepper and spice, quite European in style. And if your taste is for white wine, you can’t beat the Sauvignon Blanc, especially those from Leyda, Limari and Elqui; the rarer, spicier Sauvignon Gris is worth a look too.
Chile is known for its value for money entry level wines - it’s one of the few countries which can make good but affordable Pinot Noir. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a one trick pony - it produces some reassuringly (sometimes eye-wateringly) expensive wines too, but as a rule, I think it’s safe to say that you definitely get more bang for your buck with Chilean wines.
Almost everyone visits Santiago on a visit to Chile, which is within easy distance of some of the country’s oldest and best wineries along the Maipo wine route. Out of town, if there’s one winery I’d visit, it would be Matetic in San Antonio. It’s a cutting edge, family-owned estate which is farmed organically. Not only can you taste some of Chile’s most characterful wines here, you can also tour the stunning winery and dine at the restaurant which is highly recommended by yours truly!”
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We can incorporate a wine trip into most of our holidays to Chile. Let your consultant know that you'd like to include wine tasting when you are planning your holiday. The Maipo Valley is the closest wine area to Santiago, but also consider the Casablanca Valley and the Colchagua Valley.