Mendoza Wineries, Chile
SANTIAGO DE CHILE
Santiago, the capital city of Chile is located in almost the perfect center of the country. Santiago is the ideal starting point for all visitors to Chile, because of its great features and utter convenience. It is located less than two hours from world class Andean Ski and Beach resorts and harbors of the Pacific coast. The main international airport is located close to the city and beautiful wineries surround the capital.
This bustling and modern city was founded in 1541 by Pedro de Valdivia. Santiago is the economic, administrative and cultural center of Chile. There is much to be seen in this pleasant city, home to many park and green areas. It is a city of contrasts, modern skyscrapers are found next to small grocery stores. Architecture ranges between colonial, baroque and modern. The Mapocho River, flows through the city from east to west. Current initiatives are working to clean up its waters and claim the river as a green area. As in most large cities, traffic is a problem but the people from Santiago de Chile are working on a huge new road network to alleviate traffic. Improvements in the subway and new public transport are working to reduce Santiago’s smog the coming years.
Santiago de Chile is only 1 and a half hour away from Vina del Mar “The Garden City” and Valparaiso a picturesque and historical port declared Heritage Site by Unesco. Valparaiso houses seem to be sliding from the top of the surrounding hills right into the sea. One major attraction are the 16 funicular railways which date back to 1880 and connect the lower with the upper city. Beautiful views to the bay can be enjoyed from upper Valparaiso. The city has several museums among them is “La Sebastiana” one of the houses of Literature Nobel prize winner Pablo Neruda and another “Casa Mistral” the house of Gabriela Mistral (Nobel prize winner for Literature in 1945). Vina del Mar is among the most important beach resorts in Chile, with a very good infrastructure and excellent cultural offerings.
World class ski resorts are located less than two hours from Santiago. There is a wide range of possibilities to suit the needs from beginners to experts in ski, snowboard and even heli-snowboarding. Between July and September Valle Nevado and Portillo serve as training places for national teams from USA and Europe.
MAIPO VALLEY (Central Valley)
This is the oldest region of quality wines, where red and green grapes flourish and a hit of eucalyptus enlivens the Cabernet Sauvignon.
South of Santiago de Chile, the valley has suffered the loss of some vineyards due to the encroachment of suburbs. Vineyards Cousino Macul, Canepa, Undurraga, Santa Ines, Tarapaca, Concha y Toro, Almaviva and Santa Rita are just a few of the most famous and will be happy if you visit them.
Santa Rita winery includes the beautiful luxurious hotel Casa Real, located in the middle of the winery, surrounded by a wonderful botanical garden. Tarapaca Vineyard also offers a hotel but only for small groups.
COLCHAGUA VALLEY (Rapel Valley)
Located 150 kilometers south of Santiago outside the city of Santa Cruz and connected to the capital by train since spring 2004.
Due to its fertile soil, this land is extraordinary for the production of red varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Carmenere. The four-star hotel Santa Cruz is a perfect base for visits to the surrounding wineries like Bisquertt, Santa Laura, Viu Manent, Cono Sur and MontGras.
Mendoza is located next to the Andes Mountain Range forming an incredible Oasis in the middle of the Mendoza and Tunuyan rivers.
Mendoza is one of the most visited destinations in Argentina because of the many activities you can enjoy here.
The climate of the region is mild though the mountains provide a certain degree of aridity. The temperature in Summer ranges from 18º C to 33º C and days are hot and nights are fresh. In Winter, the minimum temperature is 3º C and the maximum registered temperature is 16º C.
Mendoza is also a home of tourist favorite wineries and base camp for adventure sport seekers. Most mountaineers find Mendoza as a perfect base camp when planning to climb the peak of Cerro Aconcagua. This is the highest summit in South America earning a popular name of “Roof of The Americas”. At nearly 7,000 meters or 23,000 feet above sea level only professional mountaineers are allowed to try the climb.
Around the base of the mountain you can find a lot of hikers and campers enjoying the greenery scene. Water sports is also popular here specially white water rafting on two popular rivers the Atuel river and Upper Rio.
People seeking winery tours would choose Mendoza over Napa and Tuscany because tourists are treated with almost hands-on wine making experience in here. With hundreds of wineries in Mendoza tourists are allowed to get close and personal with wine barrels, wine making equipments, the grapes and all grape wine related.
Mendoza is naturally endowed with rich soil and perfect climate for growing grapes. The most popular grape variety called Malbec is widely grown here. This is why Mendoza is the wine industry center of Argentina. Almost 70% of Argentina’s grape wines come from Mendoza.