SANTIAGO – Grape harvest season is here with new and classic flavors from the best wine cellars Chile has to offer. All across the country, the big vineyards are hosting Vendimia festivals for tourists and Chileans. The events are family-friendly and open to all locals, national and international tourists.
At this time of year, bottles are uncorked and grapes are ceremoniously crushed underfoot all around the country. Since the first days in March, vineyards all around Chile have been opening their doors and are traveling to cities to show off their best products. The season is marked with the collection and harvesting of grapes, and what better time to showcase Chile’s traditions and wine culture?
The primary events are being held by Vinos de Chile, a union consisting of Chile’s primary vineyards. One of the biggest festivals this year will be held for the first time in Santiago. Vendimia Fest Santiago will be on April 13th and 14th in Barrio Italia. It is estimated that around ten thousand people will come and experience the wine culture. The event will consist not only of wine tasting, but also of educational and traditional activities, such as the customary grape-stomping. Entrance is free, and you can buy a glass of wine for 5,000 CLP to have three wine tastings of your choice.
Isla de Maipo
Maipo this year will hold two separate events. The first held by the municipality in the main plaza and surrounding streets, and the second one at the Majadas de Pirque. Both will consist of traditional music, grape crushing and of course wine tastings.
Also very close to Santiago, the municipality of Buin will host a vendimia of their own. They have national artistic shows planned for the whole family, as well as educational talks about their wines.
The north of Chile welcomes all tourists and locals to enjoy the talent of various artists invited to celebrate the harvest season. Together with the live music, there will be typical Atacameña gastronomy, and folk events.
Ovalle is representing the region of Coquimbo this year for the first time. The event will take place at the Plaza de Armas de Ovalle. The only cost is for the glass to pour the wine into!
Aconcagua valley will hold two separate events this year. The first event is taking place at the Balneario los Manantiales de Panquehue. Surrounded by a beautiful lake, it is idyllic, and free for the whole family to enjoy! Apart from the grape crushing, the festival will host a Queen of the Vendimia contest as well as the Ugly King. Children’s games, a raffle, live music and more! The second event will be at the Viña Hacienda San Juan in San Antonio. This location is distinguished for its patrimonial value and vast landscapes.
Casablanca will be hosting events every day throughout March and April. Relatively close to Santiago, it is a must-see this year. They are integrating the tourists into the wine-making process by having them take part in the activities. The Harvest Experience will include picking out the best grapes and harvesting them themselves, to learning in situ about the process of wine making.
Also, there is a festival at the Municipal Stadium of Casablanca that includes local gastronomy, typical creole games, live music as well as the coronation of the Queen of the Vendimia.
San Esteban Vineyard, also in this area, will host wine tastings and free tours of their vineyards and cellars. A guided tasting by a renounced oenologist will allow visitors to learn and experience specific strains. The tasting has a cost of 20,000 CLP and prior sign up is required as it is a private event held by the vineyard. It is a unique opportunity to learn and experience more during this harvest season.
The primary wine valley of this region of Chile is the Colchagua Valley. This year, Colchagua is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a huge event lasting three days. It has been renowned as being the number one vendimia in Chile every year.
In surrounding towns such as Marchigüe, Rengo, Mont Gras, and Los Vascos, events will be held throughout these two months. They will each host their own vendimias and show their local highlights. Some will even include cheese tastings!
Four different events are happening in this area of Chile. For starters, the XLIV Folkloric Vendimia of Molina Festival is hosting a competition with judges for their wines. Later in the month of March and April, events will take place in Curicó, Talca and San Javier. Each will host and highlight their most important wines from their vineyards.
This southern region will be represented in the cities of Portezuelo and Chillán. Each central plaza will host the harvest festivities for the public. They highlight the traditions, folklore, and wine harvest culture of the south. In Chillán there will even be a Wine Gala, produce fair, art show, crowning of a harvest queen and other fun competitions.
Maria Paz Rodriguez Zaninovic. Born in Santiago, Chile and moved to the US at a young age. Here she began noticing the differences between societies and her curiosity grew about how people think, how countries work, and how culture affects lifestyles around the world. Although professionally a dentist, her passion for writting and photography has always been a part of her everyday life.