reclaiming the roots of winemaking
Reclaiming the roots of winemaking in the Maule Valley
With crisp Sauvignon Blancs and cool-climate Pinot Noirs from the Casablanca Valley as its poster children, Chile is steadily gaining traction in the international wine arena, and the Central Valley sees thousands of thirsty visitors each day. For those willing to venture a little further afield, however, it’s not too late to witness a fledgling movement just taking wing. Independent winemakers in Maule, a largely undeveloped agricultural region just south of Colchagua, are turning to the stripped-down practices dating back more than a hundred years for inspiration. This search for simplicity has led to a rediscovery of traditional methods and forgotten grapes, yielding astoundingly fresh and modern results.
7 Days / 6 Nights
When to go
This trip is recommended any time of year.
Travel 3.5 hours south to the Maule Valley, stopping for lunch at the historic Casa Silva winery and then a tasting at Gillmore Winery & Vineyards. Settle into Casa Bouchon with a premium tasting and a traditional Chilean dinner, followed by a starlit soak in the oversized hot tub.
Start the day off with a mid-morning tour and tasting at El Viejo Almacén de Sauzal, located in the tiny six-block-long town of Sauzal. Round out the afternoon at Count Francesco Marone Cinzano’s Caliboro Reserve, sipping dry-farmed wines, from varieties not historically associated with Chile such as Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Garnacha (Grenache) and Mourvedre.
Cross the tracks of Chile’s last narrow gauge railway to Viña Gonzalez Bastías, which retains a sense of yesteryear and makes three of its four wines with Uva País. Come mid-afternoon, head back to Casa Bouchon and tour Bouchon Family Wines.
After a hearty farewell breakfast at Casa Bouchon, head north toward Santiago and visit the Altair vineyards for a leisurely tour of the beautifully planted grounds and a tasting over lunch. Say goodbye to the wine country and head back to Santiago.
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