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Following the Wine route

Besides its geographic wonders, Chile offers tourism for every taste. Adventure for the daring ones, history for those who want to know about the culture of the places they visit and now, the new wave of rural tourism for those who want to see the simpler side of the places they visit.

One of the activities that have grown faster in the last couple of years is known as "Wine Route". Just like people who visit India try to follow the Silk Route, if you travel to the most southern part of the American continent, you can visit the heart of wine producing in Chile.

Chile is lucky enough to have fertile soil in which people can grow multiple types of vineyards, white and red, beginning in La Serena and going south. It is a valley surrounded by mountains, where small town people dedicate their lives to producing and promoting internationally known wines.

This wine-producing area offers eleven routes to cover, in which every tourist can know more about the production process of reds and whites, take walks around vineyards and wineries, learn how to taste wine properly and, obviously, try and buy bottles of Chilean wine to enjoy in the comfort of your home.

The trip begins in Valle del Elqui, a semi deserted place that invites you to walk under the rising sun, where Carmenere and Syrah are produced, as well as exquisite bottles of Sauvignon Blanc. There are several wineries you can visit, with tours that last no longer than 45 minutes.

A little more to the south you can find Limarí valley, where the weather is a bit more humid, allowing the presence of flowers and bigger trees. Here, light green covers the valleys where Sauvingnon Black, Chardonnay and Cabernet are produced. White wine is the best example of what this area can make, thanks to the influence of the ocean in the temperature of the environment.

More to the south we can find Aconcagua valley, perhaps the most famous place for those who enjoy wine related tourism. With excellent red and white wine, the protagonist is Syrah and sweet wines. Tours around vineyards last over an hour and several wineries offer tastings of more than one kind of wine.

Once you reach Casablanca Valley you know you’ve reached the emblematic wine zone of Chile, where the most important vineyards in the country have their offices. There are modern constructions that receive thousands of tourists every year because of their closeness to the capital. Only ninety minutes away from Santiago, Casablanca offers great weather conditions, exquisite wines and top quality customer service.

Half an hour from downtown Santiago you can find Maipo Valley, the most visited wine production area in Chile. With over twenty vineyards to visit, you can learn more about the recollection, production, labeling and exporting processes. All tours include historic information and a tasting of sweet and old wines.

Valle del Cachapoal has the privilege or being nearby Lago Rapel, a place of beautiful landscapes and tourism activities. It is a few hours away from Santiago and the tours at the winery in Rosario last over two hours because they include lunch.

Another important place for wine production, and perhaps the most touristic one, is Colchagua Valley. With a boom of visitors in the last five years, Colchagua has dedicated its daily life to creating interesting activities for tourists, all focused in the production and promotion of wine. Santa Cruz is one of many known places, where you can stay at a modern hotel in the middle of the town, where wine produced especially for the hotel is served and sold.

Region Seven in Chile offers more wine related circuits in Curicó Valley, where you can find over 25 wineries, and Maule Valley, on a road that goes right next to the Andes. There, Carmenere is the most requested wine, although there are several other types of wine available.

The trip ends in Itata Valley, where the ground is covered by grape trees that are later turned into exquisite red and White wines, sold all over the world.

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