The five unmissable places of the Colchagua Valley
Just three hours from Santiago, the capital of Chile, harvested and produced the best red wines of this country (and some of the most prominent in the world). The Colchagua Valley is a place where aromas, flavors, culture and traditions of the Chilean countryside are combined. Here we leave five activities that can be done in this tourist destination.
Sleeping in barrels in the Colchagua Valley
The city of Santa Cruz, in the Colchagua Valley, offers varied accommodation alternatives for those who visit this site: hotels, bed and breakfast and also remodeled heritage houses.
A different experience is that offered by Cava Colchagua: here guests sleep in two-story barrels of more than 50 years, which in the past fermented 45 thousand liters of wine. It is located on the outskirts of Santa Cruz, so the disconnection here is total: tourists relax in their outdoor pool, stroll through their parks, enjoy a massage in their spa or a bath in wooden jars and They watch the sunset with a glass of wine in hand and a rich cheese and charcuterie table, courtesy of the house, on the patio or in front of a pleasant fireplace.
There is nothing better than waking up in this place and starting the day with the tasty country breakfast served here, based on scrambled eggs, dairy products, natural juices, bread and sweets. The hotel is attended by its own owners who also personally coordinate all visits to the vineyards in the area.
Cava Colchagua Hotel Boutique
Observe the Colchagua Valley from the heights
Just 20 minutes from Santa Cruz is the vineyard of the same name, owned by businessman Carlos Cardoen, where select wines are harvested. Along with visiting its winery, the Santa Cruz Vineyard tour includes an ascent by cable car to Cerro Chamán from where you get a panoramic view of the valley and the vineyards. Here also lie replicas of the houses of the original peoples of Chile (Mapuche, Rapa Nui and Aymara). The tour reveals the rituals of the machi and the shaman (Mapuche healers of the ethnic group), the inspirers of the soul of the wines of this vineyard.
For the most daring there is also the opportunity to appreciate Colchagua from above on board a hot air balloon, watching the dawn in the air and then sharing a ceremonial wine with a breakfast on landing. Experience offered by companies like Heu’Tour.
Montes Winery - Cellar
Taste world class wines
Choosing one of the many wineries found in Colchagua is a difficult task, but without a doubt the tour of the valley must include a visit to Viña Lapostolle, with cutting-edge technology, where all the wine is produced by gravity.
The five labels produced so far by this vineyard - CASA, Canto de Apalta, Cuvée Alexandre, Borobo and Clos Apalta - have consistently achieved the highest ratings in the most influential specialized publications of wine worldwide.
The tour to the vineyard ends with a wine tasting reserve, grand reserve and the icon wine: Clos Apalta. The author of these prestigious wines is the French winemaker Michel Rolland, who has extensive experience in wine production in France, mainly in Bordeaux. From its terrace you can see an impressive view of the Colchagua valley.
Another must-see is Viña Montes in the Apalta Valley, where, peculiarly, Gregorian songs are reproduced in the cellars so that the wines improve in quality. After tasting its famous wines, it is best to enjoy a delicious lunch here in Bistro Alfredo with the Apalta vineyards as a backdrop.
Delight in your local cuisine
Colchagua Valley offers a variety of restaurants that rescue the products of the Chilean countryside and incorporate the gourmet touch. Hopscotch, from the Viu Manent vineyard, is an excellent option to taste meat, grilled fish or rich seafood, paired, of course, with its wines. Here the boys and girls dress in huasos, typical characters of the Chilean countryside.
The kitchen is in charge of chef Cristian Adrian and offers a simple menu, based on the use of the grill as a cooking method for meat and fish, combining them freely with accompaniments to the diner's taste.
If cooking is your thing, Pilar Rodríguez's studio is located very close, who, through demonstrative and participatory cooking classes, teaches how to prepare the most exquisite snacks: ceviche, pate, etc. or main dishes such as a salted fish or a pulmay (curanto in a pot) as well as irresistible pasta and desserts. All accompanied by a spectacular selection of Chilean wines, which perfectly match the different recipes.
Those who prefer Italian food, two blocks from Santa Cruz Square is La Famiglia, specializing in pasta and pizza made in a rotating oven. The place stands out for its decoration and for its relaxed atmosphere. The wine and olive oil offered here are made especially for this place by local producers.
Montes Winery - Fuegos de Apalta restaurant
Culture in the Colchagua Valley
Located a few steps from the Plaza de Santa Cruz, the visit to the Colchagua Museum is a journey to the origins of life 400 million years ago until the modernity of the twentieth century. Here you will find Paleontological collections of Amber, one of the most complete in the world along with the Prehistoric, Pre-Columbian, Conquest, Cologne, Republic and Modernity exhibitions. In addition to the newly opened room of El Gran Rescate, in honor of the 33 miners trapped in the San José Mine in 2010.
Something different is the National Museum of El Huique, located 30 minutes from Santa Cruz and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971. It is the most relevant sample that is preserved in the country of the patronal houses of the old haciendas, exhibiting both its original architecture as furniture and historical objects.
Practical guide Colchagua Valley