For your next wine experience, why not choose Chile’s oldest wine region – as some authors have claimed – Maipo is certainly amongst the most traditional. French-inspired vineyards initiated Chile’s second wine boom some 150 years ago and are partially responsible for the valley’s famed Cabernet Sauvignon – still by far the region’s most prized grape – as well as home to some of the finest Carmenere. It is also the closest wine region to Santiago, making it a great destination for shorter trips.
WHEN TO GO AND FOR HOW LONG?
The wineries in Maipo generally offer tours all year round. Harvest season for Cabernet Sauvignon, the most common grape in Maipo Valley is in April.
Thanks to its proximity to Santiago, you can explore Maipo’s wineries in a day trip. We would also recommend combing a Maipo visit with hiking, rafting, other regional tours, or a city tour of the capital.
WHERE TO GO?
- Maipo is capturing attention for the exciting new boutique wineries emerging in the region known as the "Alto" Maipo named for its vines grown at higher altitude. Alto climbs into the foothills of the Andes and produces some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon in Chile.
- The Maipo Valley is also home to Cajon del Maipo, a great area for hiking, rafting, and outdoor adventures. A great extension to a wine visit in the valley would be a hike through El Morado National Park. The area is also home to natural hot springs!
- Innovative boutique wineries
- Natural hot springs
- National parks
Our choice of restaurants
Fundacion Origen Restaurant - Maipo Valley $$
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant prides itself in using organic, natural ingredients.
Pirque, Santiago, Chile
(56 2) 853 1818
Dona Paula Restaurant - Maipo Valley $$$
The restaurant is located at the Santa Rita Casa Real and it is open for lunch and evenings for special...
Camino Padre Hurtado 0695, Alto Jahuel, Chile
(+56 2) 2 362 2590
Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, and Syrah are all found in Maipo. Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo is often called the best in all of Chile. The valley is also home to some of the finest Carménère.
The overall climate is generally Mediterranean with roughly 315 mm (12.4 in) of rainfall each year. However, the valley spans from Andean foothills to the coast and borders the urban region of Santiago, allowing for a range of weather and climate variations.
The Maipo Valley is known to have high salinity due to the use of the Maipo River for irrigation. It also is noted to have low potassium. The local vineyards have continued to advance their viticultural techniques, mitigating the effects of the soil’s deficiencies.
How to get there
The Maipo Valley is the most easily accessible from Santiago, only a short drive from the city limits. However, taxis are expensive, especially if you are planning to stay to enjoy tours and tastings. Public transportation is also not readily available. It is not recommended to do a self-drive tour with a rental car given Chile’s strict laws regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. The legal blood alcohol level of a person operating a vehicle is, for the majority of body types, the equivalent of one drink. For these reasons, we highly recommend to book and organise the wine tours in advance.