Chile’s most important zones for viticulture are concentrated in the central wine valleys of the country, where the climate is Mediterranean. Chile has a reputation as a high-quality, low cost producer, and it is the number one exporting country in South America.
Grape variety like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon are very common and are produced to different levels of quality. The national grape variety is Carménère which is almost exclusively grown in Chile following its extinction in France in the late 19th century and the rediscovery of the grape in Chile in the 1990’s. Chile was saved from the phylloxera plague which wiped out Carménère in Europe due to its geographical isolation - Its natural borders include the Pacific ocean to the west, the Andes mountains to the east, the Atacama desert to the north and the waters of Cape Horn to the south.
Cascada offers wine tours throughout the central region. One of the most famous wine growing areas is the Maipo Valley, located 40km south of Santiago, home to internationally-acclaimed vineyards like Cousiño Macul (the oldest in the country) and Concha y Toro (Chile’s biggest exporter). Special programs in the region combining wine with active excursions include bike & wine tours and wine & adventure trips with trekking and zip-lining.
Another area producing high quality red wine is the Rapel Valley south of Maipo, and the Colchagua valley which is home to the famous Santa Cruz vineyards. The Casablanca valley close to the Pacific coast is famous for its whites including Chardonnay and Sauvignon blanc.