Wine Tasting and Sunset in Maipo Valley
Although the tour turned out to be pretty touristy, it didn’t stop me from having a blast. From wine tasting that had been thoughtfully incorporated in each segment of the tour around the stunning grounds of the winery, up until the spectacular sunset across the sea of wine bushes that had Andean backdrop as its majestic accompaniment – it was quite an experience!
What better way to spend a spare evening in Chile than at a winery? I had no idea what I was in for, but it turned out to be marvelously tourist-y in the best possible way.
But the real icing on the cake was watching that fiery sunset behind the rolling Andes hills from among the sea of grapevines, making for one unforgettable evening.
Concha y Torro was a no go
I had heard of Concha y Torro while traveling through Santiago, as they had a worldwide reputation for exquisite wine, so naturally I was keen to try it. However, the guides I spoke with unanimously steered me away, mentioning how it wasn’t worth it being rushed around in a herd of tourists to sample tiny samples.
Wine tasting and tour at Alyan boutique winery
There’s no feeling like that of being led on a luxurious and unhurried journey through all its facilities, such as the variety garden and vineyard itself. Let’s just say you certainly won’t go thirsty during your stay here, with sample after sample of their unbelievable wines.
The Alyan Vineyard Sunset Wine Experience was the stuff of dreams. Complete with a leisurely and humorous tour of the vineyard facilities, including the garden, fermentation tanks, barrel aging cellar and other surprises.
The best part? Wine tasting! The guide let me know that this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill sipping, but rather an open bar… meaning unlimited tastings! All of Alyan’s exquisite wines could be sampled and re-sampled.
Starting off at the garden for our first wine tasting was an apt commencement to a journey of exploration of one’s taste buds. What did I find in Chile? An open bar! We got a generous pour and when our glasses emptied, staff members came to refill them. It felt like a never-ending party with the ability to raise our hands for a refill whenever we desired so – almost like attending an all-you-can drink buffet event without overindulging.
There were 6 tastings and 6 locations. SIX!
Chile is a one-stop shop for wine fans who love a bit of choice in their lives. While many countries specialize in one or two varieties, Chile offers it all – from warm, inland sites producing robust varietals to cool coastal or high-elevation spots that are better suited for lighter wines.
Little can compare to the beauty of a sunset view, especially when it’s over an idyllic scene of rolling vineyards with verdant hills and the majestic Andes mountains looming in the background.
As if that wasn’t enough, we got to toast to it with Naranja, a delectable orange wine that tasted just as delightful as what we were seeing. It was truly perfection – I don’t think any toast more fitting could have been made for us for reaching the peak of our wine tour.
The orange wine was delightfully perfect for the occasion!
Dinner and two more tastings
Even though sunset was so enchanting, it was only a hint of what wine experience had in store for us. Over dinner on the terrace, two more tastings of the winery’s premium wines were served – an unexpected surprise that made the night truly magical.
French Influence on Chilean wine.
It was all change in Chile’s wine industry in the 19th century. When phylloxera bug tore through Europe, the famous wine makers of France took the opportunity to head over to South America, bringing their decades of know-how across the Atlantic which would then give Chilean wines a whole new dimension and prominence.
French influence really helped lift the quality of Chilean wines and even spread some grapes that were rare or non-existent in Europe before, creating an amazing variety for wine drinkers around the world to enjoy.
So next time you pop a bottle of delicious Chilean red or white, raise a glass to those talented French winemakers whose passion has transcended centuries and continents!
Carménère is often thought as the signature grape of Chile, conquering many wine enthusiasts from all around the world. It may originate from Bordeaux, but luckily it decided that Chilean vineyards were a better home to grow exponentially. The hot climate the country offers and its long growing season have been key to the amount of exported wine in recent years – up to 70%! And boy do they export it! The numbers speak for themselves; with exports having grown from $50 million back in 1990 to over 1.5 billion by 2010. US and Britain seem to be the two most eager customers for this unique type of wine, praising it and appreciating its intricate flavors.