Santiago a food and culinary delight, all with the Andes overseeing things. Clean crime free and well ordered, Santiago has history, pride and a beautiful geographical situation. Plaza de Armas the heart of the city for 500 years, the food markets, Pre-Columbian museum all unmissable. Getting to the wineries of the central valleys is fuss free and we can be in most valleys with just over an hour as a good average. The tours you will see that we tend to create in Chile take in several areas.
Valle de la Luna and Atacama Desert. Scenes almost mimicking the surface of the moon, otherworldly colors at sunrise, sunset, salt flats and a very calm vibe all make this woth a stop.Also home to the worlds highest volcano at 6,893m 22,500ft called Ojos del Salado. Base camp tends to be in San Pedro de Atacama at all inclusive upmarket lodges.
Easter Island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, so far from anything with their haunting Moai and the history of Rapanui people. Just another example of Modern man not really understanding the whole story here.
Tierra del Fuego and Torres del Paine, Patagonia’s Lake and mountains in the south. Can be windy!
Valparaiso, really does have a stunning setting with the harbour below and the impossible hills with primary colors of the painted houses its a place full of poetic and romantic vistas, incredible seafood and a relaxed feeling.
Wine country is a highlight here, its beautiful the whole setup, the chileans know how to work and create lodges, hotels and wineries that are marvels in so man ways, this is a rich mans game in Chile.
How long do I need?
A wine tour in Chile needs minimum 3 days with 6 to 7 days being ideal and relaxing. Chilean wine tours can take in the winemaking valleys such as: Aconcagua, Casablanca, Maipo, Colchagua and Cachapoal Valley. Then consider 4 nights in the South in Patagonia, Flights can be tricky so three nights doesnt really cut it.
When to come?
Chile is 2700 miles or 4,300km from north to south therefore it really depends on where you are planing to visit. The Atacama desert and Easter Island are really a year-round destinations.
The Central Valleys that we are interested in from a Wine perspective are best visited from Mid September through to Early April. Consider May to July is winter and is not conducive to a great holiday.
The Wines of Chile
Chile is literally a heaven for winemakers, as it boasts such a diverse range of terroirs due to the incredible length of the country (4,300 kms). Coastal influences have been a massive benefit, allowing wineries to dry farm and to keep the use of chemical treatments in the vineyards to a minimum due to the ever present cooker sea breezes coming from the Antarctic with the Humboldt Current.
We must also consider that at the end of the day at its widest part Chile is only 150 kms wide, with The Andes in the east providing protection and another source of soils and water for the vines. Its a export driven market at 85%. We have written more below in this page.
Chilean food takes much of it inspiration from European as well as melding its Mapuche and Incan influences. Being such an incredibly long country the influences are varied depending on where you are. Peruvian Cuisine and influence is also very marked in Chile with huge immigration from Peru over the last 40 years. Merkén: a truly wonderful Mapuche powder, made with dried and smoked red chilli and coriander, Flavours everything, and worth taking home. The seafood restaurants in Santiago rank as some of the best in the world. Here are some dishes you might find if you are looking for traditional recipes.
Ajiaco a traditional Meat soup
Arrollado huaso, Pork roll peasant style
Caldillo de congrio, Conger eel soup
Carbonada, Vegetables and meat minestrone-like soup
Cazuela nogada, Casarole with walnut sauce
Chancho en piedra, “Pig on stone” spicy tomato sauce
Chapalele, Potato bread with flour
Sopa de mariscos: A soup of mixed seafood
Palta reina: Avocado stuffed with chicken salad, tuna and prawns
Pastel de choclo: a layered pie, with chopped beef or chicken, olives, eggs, fresh corn
Humitas: fresh and ground corn baked inside corn husks.
Porotos granados: a stew of fresh white beans, ground choclo and other vegetables.
Albóndigas al jugo, meatballs in tomato sauce
Cazuela de Ave: Cazuela but with chicken instead of beef
Empanadas fritas de queso: empanadas stuffed with cheese and then deep fried
Pantrucas: a type of dumpling or pasta made mixed with vegetable or beef stock
Charquican: a stew of charqui (dried beef) or regular beef, with potatoes, corn and other vegetables
Jaibas rellenas: stuffed crabs and Pastel de jaiba: crab pie
Caldillo de almejas: A clear Clam soup
Chupe de locos: A rich stew made with the loco or Chilean abalone baked in clay pots
Sopa de ostras: Oyster soup
Pastel de pescado: Fish pie
Arrollado de chancho and Arrollado de huaso: Pork roll and chilli roll.
Asado de cordero: Lamb barbecue
Asado al palo: Spit roasting or barbecuing meat
Cancato: A baked stew of fish, cheese, onions and pepper
Cazuela chilota: A stock is made of dried choros (Chilean mussels) and lamb
Chapalele: dumpling made with potatoes and flour
Crudos: a steak tartare or fish and seafood platter
Empanadas: a stuffed baked pastry, filled with meat, onions
Milcao: A potato pancake
Valdiviano: Soup made of jerky, onions and potatoes
Brazo de Reina: a classic Swiss Roll, usually filled with fruit preserves
Empanadas de manzana: a baked pastry filled with baked apples and cinnamon
Kuchen: a traditional German cake
Sopaipillas: A deep fried dough. eaten sweet, with sugar or a sweet caramel sauce, or savoury when its topped with a chili sauce or mustard
A wine savvy English couple come to South America to delight in wine and food of region "What can I say ... thank you, and your team, for a wonderful wine experience in Chile and Argentina. It surpassed all of our dreams. Your staff were very knowledgeable, reliable, and courteous, the wineries visited were fantastic - a very varied selection in terms of size, technology, and the...Julie and Graham Livsey
A wine importer and family friends come to Argentina and Chile for serious wine explorationOur group had an amazing experience in South America, with exclusive visits to top wineries and beautiful tasting lunches every day. Our local guides did a great job, and all our hotel and dinner reservations were attended to with great care. It was truly an experience we could never have...C.Barrette.
World wine lover comes to the Southern cone“Robertson Wine Tours has given our group an outstanding experience with the wines, wineries, and wine makers of Chile and Argentina, as well as a splendid introduction to the people, culture and landscape of those countries. Tim's skill at smoothly handling complex and varying arrangements for members of our group...HUGO LORENZ
IWFS wine and food experience to Chile, Mendoza and Buenos Aires and Patagonia“The International Wine & Food Society of Chicago chose Robertson Wine Tours to serve as director for our nine-day tour of the finest wineries in Chile and Argentina. Tim Robertson could not have been more accommodating in helping us design the tour from the start. Moreover, his professionalism and his...STEVE HATCH IWFS Committee Member
Chile. World class accommodations in Santiago and Colchagua Valley "Tim, Over all I feel that you listened to what we were interested in and provided a great service. The Ritz and the Lapostolle were fabulous accommodations. I certainly would recommend you highly and were very pleased with the tour. I would be happy to give a testimonial." ...Dr Richard & Trisha Anderson