5. Private-Tour of Chilean Wine Country: Colchagua
One of the country’s most famous wine regions, the Colchagua Valley, set in the heart of the Central Valley, 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Santiago, is the epicenter of wine production in Chile. Production started here shortly after the Spanish conquest in the mid-16th century with the introduction of vineyards by Jesuit missionaries. The mining boom of the late 19th century brought wealth and noble grapes of French origin. The area is known for its award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Syrah and Carmenere. After a three-hour drive in a private vehicle to Santa Cruz, the region’s capital, we first stop at Viu Manent Vineyard, a model for wine tourism in Chile. Climb aboard a horse-drawn carriage for a remarkable experience visiting the historic Malbec Hall, and gardens. Explore the wine shop and handicraft emporium. The visit ends with a tasting of the vineyard’s best wines. Internationally renowned for the quality of its wines, Viu Manent is particularly famous for its Malbec. After visiting Viu Manent Vineyard, there will be time to have lunch (not included). In the afternoon, we will visit Montes Vineyard, voted #1 winery in South America. With the release of the first Montes Alpha wine in 1988, Montes became the first premium winery of Chile. The premise, a clear belief that Chile had an untapped potential as a producer of quality wines, made them a benchmark for other wineries to follow. Its original four partners’ total involvement and the continuous help of the Angels that decorate their labels was key to their success. Two decades later, Montes is one of the most important wineries of Chile were Aurelio Montes continues leading the winemaking area with the same passion as the day he started. Hard work and total focus on quality has led Montes to become the most successful and respected quality driven winery in Chile as they continue pioneering and breaking new grounds in winemaking. Walk through their beautiful vineyards with a great view of the Valley. Tour the mystical winery where the Premium and Ultra Premium wines are made: Montes Alpha M, Montes Folly, Purple Angel and Montes Alpha. Visit the Barrel Room, where their best wines rest and mature accompanied by Gregorian Chants.