has a worldwide reputation for its excellent wines, the quality of
Chilean wines owes much to the efforts of our winegrowers, who took
great pains is caring for those French vines that made of our soils
their natural environment.
Chilean vineyards were first established in the mid-sixteenth century
by Spanish missionaries. These viticulture pioneers planted the grape
known as Pais, which is similar to the "Mission" grape widely
grown in California and the Criolla variety grown in Argentina. For
the next 300 years the Pais was Chile's primary grape and still comprises
about half the total vineyard land. In 1851, a Spaniard Silvestre
Ochagavía, brought in French wine experts, followed by cuttings
of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Pinot Noir,
Sauvignon Blanc, and Sémillon. Other varieties were subsequently
planted, including Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer and Riesling. The
next four decades saw the establishment of numerous wineries that
are still prominent estates today including: Cousiño Macul
(1861), San Pedro (1865), Errazuriz (1870), Santa Rita (1880), Concha
y Toro (1883), and Viña Undurraga (1885). These six wine estates
plus those of Caliterra, Los Vascos, Santa Carolina, Saint Morillon,
and Walnut Crest account for almost 90 percent of the Chilean wines
exported to the United States. Chile seems to have an ideal environment
for growing grapes.
8 a.m. pick up from your hotel to start our day tour. We will drive
to Talagante towards Undurraga Vineyard at 10 a.m. It was found
in 1885 by Don Francisco Undurraga Vicuña. Here we will around
the vineyard located in the Maipo Valley with a specialized guide
who will teach us about the production process of the different musts
while visiting the cellars and the beautiful park of the landlord's
Villa, which was designed by the French landscaper Pierre Dubois.
The tour ends with a tasting of one of our Reserve wines. There is
also a wine shop called "La Sacristía" where you
can purchase our wines and souvenirs.
Then, we continue our tour towards Tarapaca Vineyard, one of
the most traditional and experienced wineries in Chile, as the establishment
of our first vineyards, on the foothills of the renowned Maipo Valley,
dates back to 1874.
Our trip continues towards Santa Rita Vineyard, located in
Alto Jahuel at 36 km. south of Santiago. We will have an exquisite
lunch in the restaurant of this Vineyard. After at 3:30 p.m. we will
visit it. It is considered as a National Monument. The complex has
houses, a church and a beautiful park all built in 1883. The winery
was founded by Don Domingo Fernández Concha in his estate in
Alto Jahuel. This estate had been functioning since the colonization
time and was at the side of the old access road to Puente Alto. Bernardo
O'Higgins lodged there after the Rancagua disaster and its warehouses
served as a refuge for Manuel Rodriguez.
Finally we return to your hotel.
Min. 2 people
3 to 4 people
5 to 8 people
9 to 14 people
- Private transportation (Van from 2 to 8 people and Maxi Van
from 9 to 14 people)
- Bilingual driver/guide from 2 to 6 people and driver and bilingual
guide from 7 to 14 people.
- Visit to 3 Wineries guided by expert .
- Lunch with wines at the Santa Rita Restaurant .
- Entrances fees and tasting.
Min. 2 people
3 to 4 people
5 to 8 people
9 to 14 people
Note: only available from Monday to Friday.
the Maipo Valley Undurraga owns two properties. The Santa Ana vineyard,
in the heart of the Maipo river valley in the district of Talagante,
34 Kms. Southwest of Santiago with a planted area of 350 acres. The
terrain is alluvial, of medium sandy grain, well drained, with relative
depth and moderate fertility.
The other is Fundo Codigua in the district of Melipilla, 70 Kms. from
Santiago with a planted area of 620 acres. Because of its proximity
to the Pacific coast, it produces magnificent white grapes of the
Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc varietals, aside from an excellent
red Pinot Noir grape.
Don Francisco Undurraga Vicuña was born in Chile in the year
1855. Still young, he traveled to Europe where he studied law and
painting. Don Francisco was a versatile and enterprising man. Aside
from graduating as a lawyer in Italy, he also was a politician (a
congressman in Chile), writer, farmer and painter. One of his oil
paintings, portraying his wife and himself, can be admired in the
main office of the vineyard.
Under the supervision of a French viticulture expert, M. Pressac,
the first vines were planted and adapted easily and well to the Chilean
climate. The Chilean is the only "pre-phylloxera" vines
remaining in the world. Miraculously, Chile was not affected by this
beetle, which completely destroyed European vineyards toward the end
of the 19th century and obliged grape growers to graft their varieties
onto North American vines.
Viña Undurraga was one of the first exporters of Chilean wine.
The first shipments to the United States took place in 1903. Today,
Viña Undurraga exports its wines to more than fifty countries
in the five continents.
Viña Undurraga has one of the most prominent winemaking teams
in Chile headed by Agricultural Engineer and Oenologist Mr. Hernán
Amenábar. Undurraga is also assisted by the eminent French
oenologist, Professor Monsieur Guy Guimberteau. Viña Undurraga
has built one of the most modern and efficient wineries at the Fundo
Santa Ana in Talagante where the winemaking, aging, and bottling take
place. The winery has an installed capacity of 20 million liters in
a fermentation plant using the latest technology and in the old, cool
underground aging cellars built by Don Francisco in the XIX century.
Viña Undurraga has been particularly careful in selecting its
vineyards. . This agricultural activity is distributed in four properties
with a total area of 2500 acres. They are located in the Maipo valley
and the Colchagua valley and are dedicated exclusively to the production
of the finest grapes. These are the very best regions for the production
of the "vitis vinifera"
The climate is sub-humid Mediterranean, with mild winters, dry summers
and fresh nights, all of which assure the production of healthy grapes
with delicate texture and accented aromas.
Viña Tarapacá Ex Zavala came into being in the nineteenth
century, in 1874, and was then named "Viñas de Rojas"
after its founder, Don Francisco de Rojas y Salamanca, a well-known
businessman of that period. With fine vines imported from France,
Don Francisco established the vineyard on the foothills of the Andes
Mountains, planting grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
and Petit Verdot for red wine, and Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and
Semillon for white wine.
Later, under the ownership of Mr. Antonio Zavala, the winery became
"Viña Zavala". When Antonio Zavala and his wife split
up, she received the estate as part of the divorce settlement. Mrs.
Zavala's lawyer at that time was Don Arturo Alessandri, known as the
"Lion of Tarapacá". In recognition of Alessandri's
services, the estate was renamed "Viña Tarapacá
In 1992, when the Fósforos group - an important Chilean holding
engaged in agro industry, forestry and trade - took control over the
winemaking operations of Viña Tarapacá, a decision was
made to launch an ambitious development program targeted at international
markets, backed by the estate's "Century-Old Tradition"
and the prestige it had won in the domestic market.
To that end, Viña Tarapacá acquired "El Rosario
de Naltagua", a 2,600-ha estates located in the Maipo Valley,
of which 600 ha are flatlands irrigated by the Maipo River. With this
acquisition, one of the main goals of the development program was
achieved: to offer customers increasingly larger volumes of fine wines
made by Viña Tarapacá.
In addition to being one of the leading wineries in the Chilean market,
Viña Tarapacá Ex Zavala has become today one of the
largest exporters in the country, with shipments growing at an average
annual rate of 50 percent as of 1994 and reaching more than 50.
1992 and 1997, the first 420 hectares of fine grape varieties were
established in "El Rosario de Naltagua" estate, located
in the Maipo Valley. Also, significant resources were allocated to
expanding and improving the vinification capacity, incorporating stainless
steel technology for controlled fermentation and modern bottling lines.
Investment in production capacity has continued and today the winery
has more than 600 hectares planted with fine grape varieties earmarked
for the making of top quality wines. In recent years, efforts have
been focused on establishing non-traditional varieties, such as Mourvedre,
Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, Viognier, Malbec, and others, with
excellent results, as shown by the wines themselves.
On the other hand, Viña Tarapacá has pioneered the production
of Terroir wines, a concept that combines excellent soils, climatic
conditions and vines for the making of an internationally acclaimed
line of wines.
Today, Viña Tarapacá has an annual production capacity
of 15 million liters, which places it among the largest wineries in
master house owned by Domingo Fernández Concha, who founded
Viña Santa Rita, has a 40-hectare park created in 1882 by Guillermo
Renner, a French landscape designer. Hundred year-old trees of the
most diverse varieties - like chestnut, cedar, olive, almond, orange
and lemon trees - in addition to the largest bougainvillea of America
- dress and perfume this peerless park. Innumerable statues, some
of them of a mythological origin and others representing the four
seasons, accompany the visitor, showing the beauty of each corner
offered by this huge and pretty garden. The park is permanently being
maintained and cared for by 15 gardeners. Santa Rita's fertile lands
rightly rank among the company's most valuable assets. Carefully selected,
Santa Rita's vineyards are located in the best Chilean wine growing
lands with the aim to achieve the best quality wine that Chile can
Paula Restaurant: currently a national monument was named after
Paula Jaraquemada, owner of hacienda Santa Rita's manor house over
200 years ago. At that time, a number of historical events related
to the independence of Chile took place here. Bernardo O'Higgins,
the general who achieved independence for Chile, and 120 soldiers
took shelter here after fighting the Spanish crown forces. Santa Rita's
most famous range of products is called "120" in homage
to these patriots.
Casa Real: Since 1996, the old master house belonging to Mr. Domingo
Fernández Concha has been equipped as the beautiful Viña
Santa Rita's Casa Real Hotel. The large house, which shows a Pompeian
style, has 16 cozy rooms.
Old and modern features may be observed in the hotel. Tear lamps,
heaters, pictures, tapestry and armoires are combined in a contemporary
decoration yet not abandoning a classic style. The Bishop's Room -
formerly inhabited by a religious man - is available for holding meetings.
A billiard table imported from England by Domingo Fernández
Concha and a piano waiting for some guest is part of the ample game
room offered by the hotel.
In 1885, the French architect Teodoro Burchard finished building the
Neo-Gothic chapel located adjacent to the old master house. Although
years have passed, everything shows a very good preservation condition.
The trip made by one of the restorers of the Vatican's Sistine Chapel
from Florence, Italy to recover this temple was not in vain.
Domingo Fernández Concha founded the Viña Santa
Rita cellars in 1880. French technology was imported for their construction.
The company currently has a total of four cellars for the wine producing
process located in Alto Jahuel, Los Lirios, Palmilla and Lontué.
French and American oak barrels are used in the aging cellars, where
wine acquires complexity and body, with a woody flavor and a soft
and delicate aroma. One of Chile's oldest aging cellars is located
in Alto Jahuel (Buin.) Viña Santa Rita's best wines, like Casa
Real and Medalla Real Cabernet Sauvignon for export are aged in the
cave of this storehouse. This cellar was built with stone masonry
by French architects and has been declared a National Monument.