Chile’s wine regions: landscape and vino, a perfect blend

written by Sarah Gilbert
updated 11/4/2022
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Many consider Chile

's wine regions to be home of some the most major wines of the global wine industry. The country’s diverse landscapes – from the barren Atacama Desert to the snow-capped Andes Mountains – create the perfect grape-growing terrain.

The majority of the wines that Chile produces are red grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and the country’s signature Carmenere. Here is our guide to Chile's wine regions.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guide to Chile

— your essential guide for travelling in Chile .

The most well-known of Chile's wine regions — the Maipo Valley

You've most likely heard of the most famous of the Chilean wine regions, the Maipo Valley. It stretches east from Santiago all the way to the foothills of the majestic Andes Mountains. This region began to flourish in the 19th century when the weather of this area became more temperate.

Maipo Valley is home to some of Chile’s finest Cabernet Sauvignon. Here, you can find world-class wineries such as Concha y Toro and Viña Santa Rita. It’s the closest wine region to Santiago and you can reach it in an easy half-day trip.

Where to stay in the Maipo Valley

Maipo Valley'of Chile's wine country © Tetyana Dotsenko/Shutterstock

Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in the Casablanca Valley

This contemporary Chilean wine-growing region is close to the Pacific Ocean, between Santiago and the port city of Valparaíso. Like Maipo Valley, you can visit the wine region on a day trip from the capital. Or take a trip from Valparaíso — a city known for its maze of steep streets and brightly coloured houses.

The first wine grapes of Casablanca Valley were established in the 1980s. It was not long before this valley surrounded by coastal mountains quickly became one of Chile's most important white wine regions. Its cool ocean breezes make the area known for Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay.

Veramonte is arguably the region’s best-known winery. Also worth a visit is Matetic Vineyard. Here you can find tropical, citrus-scented Sauvignon Blancs and a flagship spicy Syrah.

Where to stay in the Casablanca Valley

  • Best for city stays in Valparaíso: Hotel Casa Higueras. One of the city's top-end hotels, and considering the quality, reasonably priced.
  • For an ocean-side resort stay: Viña Del Mar. Close to Valparaíso, and Chile's best-known and grandest beach resort.

Ready to take your trip to the Chilean wine country? You won't want to miss our guide to the best things to do in Chile

.

Wine producers of Chile and world reknown © abriendomundo/Shutterstock

Carmenere in the Colchagua Valley

The Colchagua Valley is often dubbed the Napa Valley of South America. If you're a red wine enthusiast, it should be the first of the Chilean wine regions to visit. Home to around 1,700 vineyards, it’s a region known for its intense and aromatic speciality — Carmenere.

Colchagua Valley's Carmenere, along with its Syrah and Malbec, make regular appearances on the world’s best-of lists. It’s also one of the most visitor-friendly wine routes, with top wineries including Casa Lapostolle and Viña Montes.

If you visit in March, you can celebrate all things vino related at the annual three-day Grape Harvest Festival that takes place around the town of Santa Cruz. Away from the wine tastings, you'll find that the valley is an excellent place for hiking, biking and horse riding.

Where to stay in the Colchagua Valley

  • For a dazzling view: Tumuñan Lodge. Enjoy the wood-fired hot tub and home-cooked meals of this gorgeous lodge.
  • To stay directly at a vineyard: Clos Apalta Residence. Enchanting, luxurious cabins are located directly above the Clos Alpata vineyards.

The Chilean landscape is by far one of the most beautiful natural sites one can be lucky to see in real life. That's why it made our list of the most beautiful countries in the world

.

Red grape vineyards in Colchagua Valley — one of Chile's wine regions © Steve Allen/Shutterstock

continued below

Cabernet Sauvignon in the Aconcagua Valley

Just 65km north of Santiago, the broad valley is best known for the soaring snow-capped peak of Aconcagua. At a breathtaking 6,960 metres above sea level, you might already know it as the highest point in the Western Hemisphere. However, this region is also making a name for itself in wine production.

The mountain may sit in Argentina but it supplies the pure meltwater needed by the valley’s vineyards. Located in the broader San Antonio valley wine region — it produces delicious red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Put Viña Errázuriz, one of the region's top wineries, on your bucket list.

Where to stay in Aconcagua valley:

  • For a stay in Santiago: Hotel Plaza. A lovely albeit simple hotel is a great place to call home during your adventures to the Aconcagua Valley.

Explore Santiago without the hassle of planning or booking. Our tailor-made service

includes trips that are crafted by travel experts and are 100% customisable. Our Self-Drive Santiago, Wines & Lakes trip takes you on an adventure through Santiago and the surrounding areas.

Thriving Chilean grapes on the vine © Steve Allen/Shutterstock

Syrah in the Elqui Valley

The most northerly of Chile’s wine-growing regions, the Elqui Valley sits on the edge of the Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth. It's becoming renowned for its Syrahs at vineyards such as Elqui Valley, where they create organic wines using traditional methods.

The valley’s more longstanding claim to fame is pisco. This high-proof spirit is made by distilling fermented grape juice. The drink's origin is the source of a long-standing feud between Chile and Peru, who both claim to have invented it.

While here, don't miss the opportunity to stargaze. The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) Observatory, the world’s first International Dark Sky Sanctuary, is close by.

Where to stay in the Elqui Valley

One of the best Chile wine regions, Elqui Valley © makinajp/Shutterstock

Maule Valley — Chile's oldest wine region

The oldest of Chile's wine regions, Maule Valley, is formed by the Rio Maule and is just west of the town of Talca. Here you will find a wide and diverse menu of wines including traditional Chilean wines.

Although known for its production of bulk wines, in recent years this wine region has slowly gained a better reputation in the wine community. This area is located south of its central valley siblings. This area's cooler climate allows wine grapes to ripen slowly and under great conditions. Try the Cabernet sauvignon of Gilmore Winery and Vineyards.

Where to stay in the Maule Valley

  • For a stay with great service: Casa Chueca. Comfortable guest houses and knowledgeable owners who run their own tour company.
  • For a stay with charm: Hotel Marcos Gamero. Lovely, eclectically decorated rooms in a central location.

Ready to try the many wines of Chile? Our tailor-made travel service

makes travelling easy by allowing you to skip the hassle of planning and booking. Our trips are fully customisable and crafted by local travel experts.

Our South American Wines Trail

will take you to the major vineyards of South America — including Chile and Argentina.

Maule Valley, one of the oldest wine regions of Chile © Rubes.fotos/Shutterstock

Riesling in the Bío Bío Valley

Chile's most southern wine region is surrounded by stunning nature. Because of where this wine valley is located, temperatures can be drastically colder than in the north. This makes for fantastic aromatic white grapes.

Reisling, Gewurztraminer and Viognier are among some of this area's favourites. This area is considered by many wine enthusiasts as being an exciting up-and-coming wine region in Chile's wine scene.

Where to stay in the Bío Bío Valley

  • For a good value: Hotel Maquehue. With city views of Concepción and fresh, modern rooms.
  • Best for a city stay in Los Angeles: Four Points by Sheraton. This classic hotel chain serves as a great base for your adventures in the Bio Bio Valley.

Beyond wine tasting, Chile is an absolutely fantastic place to visit. If you're ready to start planning your trip, check out the Rough Guide to Chile and Easter Island

. This guide is the best for learning about the best time to go , the best places to visit and the best things to do in Chile .

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Chile without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts

to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services that we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Top image: Vineyards in the spring at Chile's Elqui Valley © Ksenia Ragozina / Shutterstock

Travel advice for Chile

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written by Sarah Gilbert
updated 11/4/2022
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