Wines: Maipo, in Chile, is ideal for express wine tourism – 04/03/2024 – Tourism

Wines: Maipo, in Chile, is ideal for express wine tourism – 04/03/2024 – Tourism


Between the Costa mountain range and the Andes mountain range, the science of wine found an ideal laboratory in Chile: the Valle del Maipo, the only wine-producing region in the world where vineyards coexist with the daily life of a large capital, Santiago.

There, wine tourism, which generally requires travelers to move away from urban centers towards the interior, can be done expressly, in short trips by car, bus and subway. Maipo, therefore, allows tourists to enjoy the national heritage that is Chilean wine without, however, giving up the cultural and nightlife circuits of the Chilean capital.

“There’s even a historic fight”, explains sommerlière Carla Silva, from São Paulo’s Espaço Princeless – Notiê, regarding the old wineries, once removed from urban life and now “swallowed” by the metropolitan area of ​​Santiago. “Large luxury real estate companies have always been keeping an eye on this. Imagine waking up in a building, facing a vineyard? And producers have their hair on end,” as they see tall buildings being erected around previously isolated places.

This is what happens in the mansion of Santa Carolina, one of the centuries-old wineries located in Maipo, and one of those responsible for making Chile a winemaking hub, back in the 19th century. Once a country house, today the facilities are just a stone’s throw away. 15-minute walk from Rodrigo de Araya metro station.

Founded by the Portuguese Luis Pereira in 1875, the winery obtained the first international recognition for Chilean wines at the 1889 Universal Exhibition in Paris. The winner, the wine from the Reserva de Família line, stands out for its mix of the red and intense flavors of Merlot and Cabernet Flanc grapes, with annual harvests produced to this day.

The certificate of the feat, as well as the old bottles of Reserva, can be seen in the underground cellar and also tasted on scheduled tours. The pit was declared a national heritage site in 1973.

In addition to the victory in Paris, another major factor responsible for the global recognition of Chilean wine is the “romantic history”, as Silva describes it, of the Carménère grape which, considered extinct at the end of the 19th century after a plague ravaged the Bordeaux region, was ” found alive” in 1994, in Chile.

Maipo, in turn, is ideal for growing Cabernet Sauvignon, precisely because of its climatic and geographical conditions, which make Chile and especially the region close to Santiago “a paradise for vineyards”, explains the sommeliere.

“On one side, the Coastal Mountain Range protects cultivation from the cold winds from the Pacific (the rumbas). On the other, the Andes Mountain Range, natural protection, brings irrigation during the thaw season. The Maipo River gives the soil the characteristic of gravel, which allows the vineyard to go deeper into the earth. And, finally, the steepness of the slope” crowns the region as a reference for Cabernet Sauvignon, says Silva.

In addition to Santa Carolina, it is also possible to taste many other classic Chilean wines and their wineries in the metropolitan region, such as Santa Rita, Aquitania, Concha y Toro and Undurraga.

The journalist traveled at the invitation of the Carolina Wines Winery


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