Day 1: Santiago - Vineyards and Central Region
Carménère, once praised in ancient Rome and as one of the original six Bordeaux varietals, is now produced almost exclusively in Chile. Arriving in the mid-19th century, the first Carménère vines arrived from France and were mistaken for Merlot. Following the phylloxera louse crisis in France, the Carménère grape was thought to be extinct. Then, in 1994, Carménère vines were discovered (by a Frenchman) to be alive and well in Chile. Today, Carménère is known as the "lost grape of Bordeaux" and is considered Chile's emblematic varietal.
Our exclusive Carménère tasting tour will take you an hour north of Santiago to the Aconcagua Valley. The valley is named for the stunning peak of Aconcagua which at 22,830 feet (6,959 meters) is the highest point in the Western and Southern hemispheres. The Aconcagua Valley is Chiles smallest wine valley, but very well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and award-winning Carménère production. Moving toward the mountainous eastern edge of the valley we will visit the San Esteban Winery, one of Chiles first hillside wineries. This land was home to an earlier civilization which has left behind enigmatic remnants of their culture in the form of rock petroglyphs full of symbolism and mystery. We will enjoy a unique three-year vertical tasting of the Winemakers Reserve Carménère.
Next, we will visit Errázuriz Winery, one of the largest, oldest, and most beautiful wineries in Chile. Founded in 1870, Errázuriz is a leader in the production of upscale, quality wines. Here we will taste three different Carménère, including single vineyard and premium Kai (Robert Parker 96 points). Continuing our quest to truly know Carménère wine, we travel to Von Siebenthal Winery, a small boutique winery which is internationally famous. Founded by Swiss lawyer, Mauro Von Siebenthal, the winery is now producing globally-recognized red wines and, in 2004, its premium Montelig wine won Best Red Wine in the World at the Brussels Wine Expo.
Day 2: Santiago - Vineyards and Central Region
After starting the day with a delicious Chilean breakfast, you can plan the day's events with your guide. From the Aconcagua Valley there are many options to explore the mountains and coast of the Central Valley including a visit to the exclusive beach town of Zapallar on the Pacific coast, a drive into the Andes Mountains to the Portillo Ski Center and the turquoise blue Inca Lake, or a hike in the La Campana National Park just a 30 minutes from the vineyard. In the evening, you will return to Santiago. Overnight at a hotel.
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South America Chile Local Culture Food & Wine