Day 1: Friday 22nd February
Meet your fellow travellers in the lobby of Hotel Plaza San Francisco at 4pm. Join our tour bus for a city tour of Santiago to see the main sites. This evening we will have an introduction to the current wine scene in Chile followed by a food and wine matching dinner. Return to hotel.
Day 2: Saturday 23rd February
Today we visit two wineries in Maipo Valley including lunch at one. On our shortlist are Santa Rita, Haras de Pirque, Perez Cruz and Undurraga. Maipo produces predominantly red wine including some of Chile’s best Cabernet Sauvignon and it’s the closest wine region to Santiago. Late afternoon return to Santiago. Free evening.
Day3: Sunday 24th February
Check out and drive west to the wine region of Casablanca Valley and visit two wineries including lunch at one. Casablanca is a relatively cool area which benefits from ocean breezes which makes it perfect for varieties like Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. On our shortlist are Casas del Bosque, Bodegas RE, Kingston Family and Emiliana. Late afternoon continue to the coastal town of Valparaiso our base for the next two nights. Check in to our accommodation MM450 and Cirilo Armstrong B&Bs. Free evening.
Day 4: Monday 25th February
This morning we will have a walking tour of Valparaiso with a private guide. Lunchtime and this afternoon will be free to explore the town, browse the many craft shops and relax. This evening meet for a group dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 5: Tuesday 26th February
Check out and drive south to San Antonio Valley known for its handful of high quality boutique wineries. We will visit two wineries including lunch at one, likely to be Matetic. Later this afternoon continue south to the town of Santa Cruz and check in at Hotel TerraVina, our base for the next three nights. Free evening.
Day 6: Wednesday 27th February
Colchagua Valley is an important wine region and over the next three days we will visit several wineries in the various sub-regions. The order of visits over the three days may change, but possibles today are Koyle, Montgras and Viu Manent with lunch at one. Late afternoon return to our hotel. Free evening.
Day 7: Thursday 28th February
This morning we visit Laura Hartwig winery which is a short stroll through the vineyards from our hotel. Late morning we drive to Chimbarrongo where Cono Sur, one of Chile’s most famous wineries is based. They are not normally open to the public but we will enjoy a tour, tasting and BBQ lunch here. Late afternoon return to hotel. Free evening.
Day 8: Friday 1st March
Check out and drive to Curico Valley to visit two wineries, including lunch at one. On our shortlist are Valdivieso, Miguel Torres (as in the famous Spanish producer) and San Pedro. Mid-afternoon check into Radisson Hotel, Curico for one night. There will be some free time this afternoon and this evening to explore the town with its colonial buildings.
Day 9: Saturday 2nd March
Check out and drive north to visit Casa Silva winery. Here we will have a tour, tasting, lunch AND a rodeo show! After lunch we drive back to Santiago arriving late afternoon. Check into Plaza San Francisco. This evening is the final night of the main tour.
Day 10: Sunday 3rd March
MAIN TOUR ENDS after breakfast
EXTENSION TO ‘THE NORTH’
Day 10: Sunday 3rd March
After an early breakfast we transfer to the airport to catch the 09.10 LAN Chile flight to La Serena which takes about 50 minutes. On arrival in La Serena a bus will meet us and take us to Hotel Casa Real, our base for the next 2 nights. We drop our bags and then drive east through the extraordinary landscape to Elqui Valley.
Today we will visit a Pisco distillery and a winery and enjoy a group lunch at a local restaurant. Elqui Valley has some of the clearest skies in the world so it’s a haven for stargazing and there are numerous observatories in the region. This evening we will visit an observatory where we will have a guided tour and the chance to view some of the wonders of the night skies. We are fortunate that there will be a new moon around this time, so the best time of the month!
Day 11: Monday 4th March
We drive south to Limari Valley, well-known for it’s elegant, cool climate wines and some particularly fine Syrahs. We visit two wineries today including lunch at one, probably Tabali. Others on our shortlist are Maycas de Limari and Casa Tamaya. Limari is the southernmost edge of Chile’s desert region which extends all the way up to the Atacama desert on the border with Bolivia. This afternoon we will visit the Enchanted Valley where cacti thrive and where we will witness petroglyphs carved into the rocks. Return to La Serena. Free evening.
Day 12: Tuesday 5th March
This morning we return to Elqui Valley to visit Vina Mayu who were the pioneering winery in the region. We have lunch at a local restaurant and this afternoon we head back to La Serena and when there will be time to see the old town with its market and colonial buildings.
Late afternoon we transfer to the airport in time to catch the 19.10 fight back to Santiago. On arrival transfer to Hotel Plaza San Francisco for a final night.
Day 13: Wednesday 6th March
TOUR ENDS after breakfast