Discovering the Wine of Chile’s Aconcagua Valley
Updated: Oct 13, 2020
The Aconcagua Valley is one of the smallest wine regions in Chile. It takes its name from Mount Aconcagua, the highest peak in the Americas, and the Aconcagua River, which runs through the region.
While it’s only about an hour east from Santiago, Chile’s capital, it’s lesser known and more off the beaten path. It doesn’t even get a mention in Fodor’s “Essential Chile” travel guide, which is odd since Chile’s Aconcagua Valley produces some of the country’s best wines. Only a few tour operators offer wine trips to this region.
This is a great area to visit small boutique and micro-wineries, which are on the rise in Chile. It’s particularly known for intense red wines and traditional Chilean specialty drinks. We enjoyed a terrific tour of the wine of Chile’s Aconcagua Valley with Chris, of Bodega Wine Tours.
Vina Sanchez de Loria
Our first winery was Vina Sanchez de Loria, established in 1890 and still operated by the Sanchez de Loria family. We were told that it’s the oldest Chilean winery still in operation. We toured the vineyard and the original house with the owner. Then, we enjoyed a wine tasting in the backyard right next to the winery’s youngest, most recently planted vines.
Viognier Gran Reserva 2017 😊++
Cabernet Sauvignon Reserva 2016 😊😊
Cabernet Sauvignon Harvest Special 2019 😊++
Our next stop while exploring the wine of Chile’s Aconcagua Valley was at the renowned boutique winery, Flaherty Wines, established by Americans Ed Flaherty and Jen Hoover. The winery specializes in red blends and boasts a large garden with fruit trees. We enjoyed a tour of the entire premises with Craig, including a barrel tasting and a visit to the experimental blending room. We then had a wonderful lunch prepared by Jen herself with wine pairings.
Casa del Magnolio, 2017, a white blend of 85% Gewurztraminer and 20% Chardonnay 😊+
Casa del Magnolio 2017, a blend of Syrah, Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pais 😊😊
Flaherty 2018 Aconcagua Valley, a blend of Syrah, Petite Verdot, Tempranillo, and Cabernet Sauvignon 😊😊
Flaherty Cauquenes 2017, a blend of Tempranillo, Petite Syrah, and Pais 😊😊
Jen then surprised us with the winery’s limited edition 100% 2018 Carménère, Chile’s signature red wine grape 😊😊
Our third stop was to the tiny tasting room of Vina Almendral, another family-owned winery. Established in 1985, the winery specializes in the artisanal production of old-style Chilean rustic sweet wines (Chica, Pipeno, and Vino Anejo) and pisco-based fruit liquors (mistelas). The winery generously poured seven types of the 26 varieties available.
Mint (menta) 😊
Vino Dulce Anejo (grapes and syrup) 😊+
Olive liquor 😊
We hope you find these suggestions about the wine of Chile’s Aconcagua Valley helpful. For more information on how to divvy up your time in Chile’s Santiago-area wine regions, check out our post about where to go.
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