You don’t need to venture far from Santiago to find world-class wine, destination dining, and some of the coolest hotels in the country

Along with discovering its rugged wild places such as Patagonia and the Atacama Desert, one of the best reasons to visit Chile is the country’s renowned wine scene. Mostly concentrated in the heart of the country near the capital of Santiago, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Coast, the unique location of Chile’s central wine valleys makes for both unforgettable wines and enchanting views. Set against a backdrop of sprawling vineyards and forest-covered mountains, oenophiles can sip Chilean wine signature varietals, like robust, red carménère and crisp, thirst-quenching sauvignon blanc. On clear days, the mighty Andes can appear on the far horizon.

Conveniently located within striking distance of Santiago, the valleys of Colchagua, Cachapoal, Maipo, and Casablanca are the perfect place to start your journey into the world of Chilean wine. Four of central Chile’s most famous and popular wine-tasting destinations, it’s here that you can trace the origins of Chilean winemaking at some of the country’s oldest wineries or look to the future at biodynamic, sustainably-run vineyards. And wine is far from the only thing these valleys do well. The fields and mountains are a playground for bike rides and hikes, farms produce feasts that bring out the best in the wines you’re tasting, and high-end hotels dot the valleys for a touch of luxury.

Whether on day trips or as dedicated getaways, here are our wine tasting travel tips in Chile and how to experience the Casablanca, Maipo, Cachapoal, and Colchagua wine valleys to their wine-glass-fullest.


Stay in one of the luxury villas at Clos Apalta in the Colchagua region where some of the region’s finest wine is produced by the same family behind Grand Mariner. Image courtesy of Clos Apalta

Red wine lovers, Colchagua is calling. Located two hours south of Santiago, inky red wines such as carménère, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, and merlot are the stars of the show in this 20-plus winery valley.

Founded by the family behind Grand Marnier, Clos Apalta uses century-old vines from Bordeaux to make Bordeaux-style blends in the Apalta Valley. Designed to look like the staves of a wine barrel bursting up from the earth, the forward-thinking, gravity-fed winery sits high on a forested slope overlooking the vineyards. A handful of luxury villas allow guests to stay right on the property, which also produces some of the family’s finest labels, such as Casa Lapostolle. Find other premier Colchagua reds, some grown from vines planted as far back as 1889, at Viu Manet and Neyen, two of the valley’s finest and oldest producers.

Gourmands will also have a field day; Colchagua is home to one of Chilean wine country’s finest food scenes. Famous for his technique of suspending meat and vegetables above smoldering fires to roast and barbecue them, Argentine Chef Francis Mallman has a restaurant at Viña Montes called Fuegos de Apalta. Here, you can see his signature cooking style in action thanks to the open-concept kitchen and dining room. At Viu Manent’s Rayuela, sit in the shade of giant trees as Chilean staples, including fresh oysters, grilled fish, and hearty steaks and beef cuts are prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients at the open-air kitchen and grill.

Besides its wines, Colchagua has plenty of culture, history, and outdoor activities on offer. Browse exhibits full of artifacts and fossils chronicling Chile’s natural history at the noted Colchagua Museum in Santa Cruz. Take a cable car to the top of a hill for far-reaching vistas of the surrounding valley at Viña Santa Cruz. Excursions, including horse-drawn carriages and mountain bike rides, lead you through pristine vineyards, and you can stay in a former wine cellar at Noi Blend Colchagua, a 140-year-old cellar transformed into a sophisticated, classy retreat. For modern design, check in at the ViBo Wine Lodge at Viu Manet. Dotted throughout the vineyards, eight contemporary cabins look out on the vines from floor-to-ceiling glass windows, complete with a soaking tub tastefully positioned for privacy on the front terrace.


The impressive avant-garde architecture of Viña Vik sits at the top of a hill, offering panoramic views of Vik Natural reserve in Millahue Valley, attracting true Chilean wine lovers. Image courtesy of Viña Vik

A hotbed for luscious red wines, including carménère, cabernet sauvignon, and merlot, the Cachapoal Valley sits nestled between Maipo to the north and Colchagua to the south. With only a handful of makers, this peaceful region is more off-the-radar than its neighbors, attracting true wine lovers who come here seeking its most famous winery: Viña Vik.

When you first catch sight of Viña Vik, you might think you’ve accidentally walked onto a sci-fi film set. But this avant-garde winery—which sits on a private 11,000-acre estate at the rear of the smaller Millahue Valley surrounded by mountains and seasonal wetlands—is just as well-known for its futuristic architecture and design as its wine. On the valley floor, the edgy, modern winery invites you to enter the hanger-esque facility through a watery plain strewn with boulders. Inside, you head down into the earth to the underground tasting rooms to taste the winery’s signature red blends and rosés. But it’s the winery’s hotel that first stands out to visitors.

Sitting on a hill above the winery and vineyards, the Vik Chile hotel’s gleaming, silver spaceship roof shines like a beacon in the brilliant, dazzling sunshine that gives the Millahue Valley its Indigenous Mapuche name as the “Golden Place.” Soak up the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the hotel’s art-filled rooms or glass-walled bungalows, swim in the reflecting infinity pool, taste the seasonal bounty of Millahue at the Milla Milla Restaurant, or try your luck at spotting native birdlife on horseback rides around the vineyards or hiking next to the wetlands.

With Vik Chile as your base camp, see what else the Cachapoal Valley offers. Anakena, one of the few wineries in the area to make sauvignon blanc, names its wines after different Indigenous groups in Chile, South America, and Easter Island, such as the Rapa Nui, Aymara, and Ona peoples.

Maipo Valley

Visit San José de Maipo Park with a beautiful church, and lush, green walkable streets in the Maipo Valley.

In addition to being the wine region that’s closest to Santiago, the Maipo Valley also has the distinction of being the birthplace of Chilean wine. The first French vines were planted in Chilean soil back in the 1540s. Today, it is one of Chile’s top wine valleys, with nearly 30 wineries. Although each wine region has its own charm, Maipo is especially beautiful thanks to its proximity to the Andes. In the shadow of the snow-covered cordillera, miles of vines stretch out between elegant, European-style wine estates with historic buildings and grand parks.

Start at the beginning by tasting at three of the nation’s oldest wineries: Santa Rita, Concha y Toro, and Undurraga. The oldest of the three, the 1880-founded Santa Rita is a must for history and wine lovers alike. Taste through the winery’s line-up of red and white wines, view pre-Columbian artifacts in the Andean Museum, dine in a historic manor at the famous Doña Paula Restaurant, and marvel at the winery’s Neo-Gothic chapel and French-inspired 40-acre park. Now one of Chile and South America’s biggest wine producers, Concha y Toro dates from 1883 and attracts wine lovers not only for its excellent reds but also the famous legend that the devil is living in one of the winery cellars. Back in the early days of the winery, owner Melchor Concha y Toro noticed that some of his prized bottles were missing from a locked cellar. To scare off thieves, he told people the devil lived there. Although it started as a rumor, some people have claimed to indeed have seen the devil down in the cellars. Is it true, or just too much good wine? You can see for yourself on tastings and tours of the beautiful 19th-century Concha y Toro estate. Finishing up at Undurraga, join the likes of Neil Armstrong and European royalty in sampling this 1885 winery’s top wines, which include some of Chile’s most popular sparkling wines. Along with wine tastings, explore each of these winery’s pristine parks and grounds by bike, foot, or horse-drawn carriage for vineyard and Andes views.

Even though Santiago is just an hour away, why return to the city when you can stay in an elegant, 1800s-style hotel in the Chilean countryside? Resembling a miniature Versailles, Hotel Casa Real is a classical, 19th-century summerhouse-turned-hotel surrounded by manicured gardens on the Santa Rita property where you can relax in salons, drink wine in the courtyards, and bask in the finer things in life. Hotel Las Majadas offers a more contemporary stay in its sleek, minimalist hotel, which is located within a 20-acre park that’s home to a 17th-century-style French chateau.

Casablanca Valley

La Casona Matetic is a charming, luxury country home situated on a flourishing wine estate, in the renowned Rosario Valley, between Casablanca and San Antonia. 

Heading west along Route 68 from Santiago to the Pacific Coast, the road tunnels through tall mountains and emerges into the white wine paradise of Casablanca. Hemmed in by low, rolling hills and bathed in sunshine, this ocean-adjacent region reaps the benefits of the Pacific’s cooling, maritime influence to produce its famous refreshing white wines such as sauvignon blanc and chardonnay and lighter reds such as pinot noir. With the coastal city of Valparaiso and its UNESCO neighborhoods of colorful houses, street art, and hill-climbing funiculars just half an hour away, wine tasting in the Casablanca Valley is a very popular day trip.

Driving along the palm-tree-lined dusty roads that crisscross the valley, visit renowned, family-run institutions, including Kingston Family Vineyards, which has made a name for itself specializing in organic, cool-climate reds such as syrah and pinot noir in this white wine-heavy region. View the area’s sustainable, biodynamic winemaking practices in action at Casas del Bosque, where biological corridors throughout the vineyards protect indigenous flora and fauna and the property’s organic-grown produce and ingredients grace the table at the on-site restaurant, Tanino. Taste experimental blends such as chardonnay with pinot noir aged in clay amphorae at Bodegas RE, take a winemaking class, bike through the lush green vineyards, and much more.

Although plenty of people arrive in Casablanca on day trips, the valley offers several stand-out accommodations. A luxurious oasis surrounded by grape vines, the elegant, 1900s-style La Casona Matetic boutique hotel sits in the middle of Matetic Vineyards, allowing you to gaze at the vines as you swim in the garden pool. At the Casablanca BCW boutique property, Nordic wellness meets Chilean wine in the form of hot tub soaks and sauna sweats, followed by decadent meals with flowing vino.

Navigating the Vines: How to Get Around Chile’s Wine Valleys

Running from north to south, starting with Casablanca and ending with Colchagua, Chile’s four wine valleys are essentially stacked one on top of the other. This makes it very easy to navigate Chile’s wine country or take day trips from Santiago. Highways like Route 68 and Route 5 (also known as the Pan-American Highway) easily connect Santiago to the different regions. Still, within the valleys, wineries can be pretty spread out and difficult to access on foot or by mass transit. For this reason, booking a designated tour or car service is best for navigating Chilean wine country. You’ll avoid the hassle of navigating and fully enjoy each tasting of Chilean wine and experience, knowing you won’t need to drive afterward.

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