11.07.2018 – Colchagua Valley: The Chilean Wine Route
Easily accessible by rental car from Santiago de Chile is the famous Wine Route in the Colchagua Valley. In 2005, this area was voted the best wine region in the world. The valley, which is located 2-3 hours south of Santiago, is home to the “Huasos” (inhabitants of the country). It is a region of great historical and cultural richness, where, in addition to well-known vineyards such as Viña Montes, Viu Manent, Montgrass, Lapostolle, Ventisquero, Santa Cruz, you can also visit small museums and cultural sites.
If you want to drive the Chilean wine road with your rented car, start early in the morning in Santiago and take the Ruta 5 Sur to San Fernando. Exit at the sign that announces the “Ruta del Vino” and after about 40 km you reach the city of Santa Cruz, Colchagua. Arrive in Santa Cruz at around 10am to have some time to enjoy a wine tasting tour before a delicious country lunch. After a pleasant lunch in the wine region around Santa Cruz, you can take the cable car up to Mount Chamán, from where you can get to know the villages of the 3 indigenous people of Chile (Mapuche, Rapa Nui and Aymara) that inspire the wines of this region.
In the Colchagua Valley there is a lot of nature and sport to experience besides wine. Plan 1-2 nights at one of the wineries, so you have time to visit local museums, do horseback riding, trekking and mountain biking. A very good overnight stay is the “Hacienda Marchigue”, a historic and unique country house from the early eighteenth century, which has been extensively restored and converted into a hotel of high quality and service.
Stop by at La Lajuela with your car rental, where you can buy handicrafts directly from the manufacturer. The region is known for its great teatina products such as chupallas, cribs and jewelry. In addition, leather artists make the traditional Huaso equipment with saddle, stirrups and ties. In addition, Yáquil’s traditional wine, which many consider an efficient natural digestive liqueur, is produced in this sector.
Colchagua produces red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère, Syrah, Malbec and white wines such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc near the Chilean coast due to its Mediterranean climate and clay, sand and stone soils. Both red and white wines have won awards in numerous international competitions.