Chile’s valley known as “The King of Reds”
Colchagua Valley, Chile
The southern part of the larger Rapel Valley was formerly known for winemaking purposes as part of the Rapel Valley. However, Chile’s Denomination of Origin system reclassified it as two distinct valleys, leaving the southern end as the Colchagua Valley. This area has long been celebrated for its ripe and juicy red wines. Cabernet Sauvignon continues to hold the lead, although these days Syrah and Carménère routinely steal the show, along with relatively small quantities of excellent Chilean Malbec, a recent innovation, as this wine is traditionally considered the national wine in neighboring Argentina. Recently, vineyards in the Colchagua valley have begun planting further toward the coast and broadened the repertoire of fine wines to include cool-climate varieties.
Major wine wine varieties from the Colchagua: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carménère, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc (coastal), Viognier.
WHEN TO GO
Recommendable all-year though we recommend visiting during harvest season, which varies between February and April each year.
How to Arrive
Driving from Santiago: Approxiamately 2.5 hours
Good to know
Language: Spanish Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP) Visas/fees: Travel to Chile does not require a visa for US/US/EU/CAN/AUS travelers. AUS citizens must pay a reciprocity fee.
What to do in Colchagua Valley
Ready to go? Here’s what to pack
Colchagua Valley enjoys warm temperatures year-round. As with the rest of Chile’s central valley, the climate is Mediterranean and travelers should dress in layers.
- Closed-toed shoes, including boots in colder months, for walking through the vineyards
- Cycling or workout clothing, if you wish to actively explore
- Layered clothing
- Sunblock (summer sun is especially strong)
Travel tunes: Playlists for Chilean Wine Country
Where to stay: Overnight Recommendations
Tips from our Team
- The Colchagua Valley is bursting with bold colors and flavors, nestled between the rolling coastal mountain range and the dramatic peaks of the Andes. Slow down and take time to enjoy this area and its history.
- During harvest months, known as the vendimia, the town of Santa Cruz comes to life with festivals. It’s a special time to visit, especially for wine lovers.