Explore Chile's Wine Country

Posted: April 2002

Few places in the world are as well-suited for producing wine as Chile. It lies within the requisite 30-degree to 40-degree latitude to produce fine wines. On General Tours' eight-day journey, discover, taste and enjoy the wines of some of Chile's finest vineyards and wineries.

The Wine Country of Chile tour begins in Santiago, where travelers stop at the Museo Enoteca, a restaurant and wine museum in the immense Parque Metropolitano. Here, sample Chilean wines. The next day, a drive past the vineyards of the Curacavi and Casablanca Valleys, whose microclimates and soils are similar to California's prestigious Napa Valley and Carneros winegrowing regions. End with a visit to the Cuvee Mumm winery. The Veramonte winery is next, with a tour of its cellars and a tasting that includes Primus, a racy blend of the Cabernet Sauvignon and rare Carmenere grapes.

A visit to Vina del Mar, Chile's most popular seaside resort, is followed by a stay in Valparaiso, where the tour visits La Sebastiana, a former home of Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda.

At the Santa Rita Winery, the tour stays for two nights at Casa Real, the private mansion of the winery's owner. The private chapel on the winery grounds was restored by the same Italian painters who worked on the latest restoration of the Sistine Chapel.

In Chile's Maipo Valley, travelers visit the Concha y Toro winery. It was founded in 1883 by Marques Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, who invented a legend that the devil frequented the winery's best wines. The legend kept the finest reserves safe from thieves and also, unwittingly, presented the name for one of the most celebrated wines of Chile: Casillero del Diablo. Returning to Santiago for the night, there's time for a visit to the city's exclusive Mundo del Vino wine shop for a wine tasting before flying home.

General Tours' Wine Country of Chile includes airfare, hotels, services of local hosts, wine tastings, guided sightseeing, free time, breakfast daily, one lunch, and all transfers and luggage handling. The cost is $1,899, which includes air fare, but is exclusive of departure taxes.

For more information, contact your AAA Travel agent or call 1-888-FON-4AAA (888-366-4222).

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