Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Colchagua Valley Wine Tour - Chile


One of the main reasons we chose to visit Chile was for the wine of course! After some research I chose a private tour of the Colchagua Valley with Uncorked Wine Tours. Since I prefer red wine particularly Syrah this region of Chile was picked for the tour because it produces extremely fantastic red wines including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, some Melbacs, my new favorite Carménère, and my new wine obsession of Petit Verdot.

The tour consisted of a guide, transportation, three private winery visits and lunch.

The three wineries visited were:

Clos de Apalta: www.casalapostolle.com

Laura Hartwig: www.laurahartwig.cl

Viu Manent: www.viumanent.cl  with lunch at the winery restaurant Rayuela.

Patricia, the guide, arrived at the hotel a few minutes before the eight 8am start. As she weaved her way through the chaotic traffic of Santiago Patricia began what would be the best “tour” of the trip. All of our day trips were fantastic, but up to this point had all been performed by non-Chilean tour guides. Patricia who is from Chile really gave us an insight into her country.
No question was off-limits and as we began the two-hour drive south to the Colchagua Valley the conversation flowed just like the wine would later.
Clos de Apalta
This modern and sleek winery is collaboration between Chilean and French winemakers. Wow! Talk about a fantastic mix. There is also a Relais and Château hotel on the property. Accessed by a dirt road the bumpy ride was quickly forgotten as the rows of vineyards lead to the spectacularly modern building atop the hill – definitely style and substance. This winery has the cool factor.


 After the tour we were taken into this a large room full of barrels of wine and a large glass top table. The large table is where the wine tasting was to take place. What was so clever was underneath the glass on the table there were stairs leading down to a cellar.



The view from the winery.

The road leading to the winery.


Laura Hartwig
From modern to old school, Laura Hartwig winery was probably my favorite visit. Small and charming the entrance reminded me of an old ranch house you would have seen on an Old Western television show like Bonanza. The production is small, but the output is amazing. I also discovered a new wine called Petit Verdot that completely thrilled me. I have never heard of this varietal and I shall look for it forever! Best wine of the three stops for me.





Viu Manent
As far as the ‘tour’ goes it was just the standard information you get when you visit any winery. But the lunch that was served in the winery’s restaurant Rayuela was the BEST meal of our entire trip. The scenery, the food, the service and the food were all amazing.  Absolutely stunning scenery and food! Eat at this restaurant! This is highlight of the tour.



Oh my - delicious appetizers!!!
Tenderloin and lamb - fabulous!!
This was the only item I didn't really care for - corn - way too sweet.
A little wine, a little dessert, a whole lot of a view. Wonderful!

The moon over the mountains on the drive home.




  1. Those photos showcase some amazing views, WOW!!!

    I discovered the Chilean wines when I was living in Belgium (of all places!). I made some Chilean friends and they introduced me to their wines, empanadillas and of course pisco sour! :o)
    I love all the reds except for the Cabernet, a grape I tend to avoid. I used to buy them quite frequently in Belgium as they were cheaper than the Riojas I was used to buying. Unfortunately back here in Spain it's not easy finding non-Spanish wines (except for some very expensive French), so I haven't had a Chilean wine in years now! :p

    Glad to hear you guys had such a great time! No headaches after? ;o)

  2. No! No headaches, but driving all day long and drinking wine does make you tired. Slept well that night. I can't wait to get to Spain and drink some red wine there. I have enjoyed some Riojas, and would be interested in learning more about Spanish wine.

    1. Rioja, Ribera del Duero... lots of good wines here! For the whites go the Albariño from Galicia. Rioja and Ribera reds. And they all go great with queso manchego and jamón serrano! ;o)

      Yeah, an outing like that must be tiring! Good thing you weren't doing the actual driving though, right? :o)