The natural characteristics of Chile, its geographic and climactic diversity and a mix of different soil types, afforded our country a privileged position as a great wine producer at the global level.
The variety of wines and valleys has no comparison, from the Elqui valley in the north to the Malleco region in the south, passing down through the Andes mountains and marked by the marine influence of the Pacific Ocean.
It is within this context that the wine harvest festivals are held each year, a diversity of popular events whose preparations begin during the month of March and culminate at the end of April, a period in which the main wine production valleys hold wine-related activities to attract local tourists and foreign visitors.
Over the years, these festivals have become a showcase for the Chilean countryside, mixing popular activities, gastronomy demos and wine tastings to create a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to know Chilean wines.
Here we present you with some of the wine production valleys in Chile and the wine harvest festivals organized for this year.
The influence of the Pacific Ocean, and particularly the cold Humboldt Current, allows varietals such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc to develop more character in this region.
Despite being one of the newest cultural festivals in Chile, the Casablanca wine harvest festival has gained momentum thanks to the showcasing of its well-known Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and the best sparkling wines of the region.
The 5th Wine Harvest Festival will be held in the Main Square of Casablanca on Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th of March. It will include the participation of more than 10 vineyards along the wine route and the best wines from Casablanca.
Each vineyard will have its own wine tasting booth, as well as the traditional exclusive and only bar to try all of the Valley’s sparkling varietals, paired with a perfect local ceviche. The Casablanca wine route will have a boutique where you can buy traditional products from the vineyards as well as their most renowned wines.
The most important changes in the Chilean wine culture began at the end of the 1970s in the Curico Valley. The region has great potential for wines produced between the ocean and the mountains.
This is the oldest Chilean wine harvest festival, this year celebrating its 31st anniversary, and will be held in the Main Square between March 23-26. The Spanish cellar, Miguel Torres, with presence in the Valley since 1979, is the main organizer of this event.
The panoramas offered include shows by well-known Chilean artists, gastronomy demos, arts and crafts fairs, the election of the “Wine Harvest Queen”, the long-awaited grape stomping competition and the Wine Harvest loud speaker. Like every year, the traditional festival will let its participants learn about and try the wines found along the Curico Valley Wine Route.
This is the third largest valley in terms of vineyard area, after the Maule and Colchagua Valleys. Several of the most important and classical cellars in Chile are based in Maipo, which produces the best Cabernet Sauvignon in the country. Some of its vineyards are close to the capital of Santiago and are easily accessible.
The 13th Annual Wine Harvest Festival (April 1-2) will be held in Isla de Maipo and includes a stellar show with Inti Illimani, one of the most important popular Chilean musical groups. There will also be traditional foods, wine tastings and more than one hundred stands with local producers and artisans.
The festival will also showcase four new tours: the heritage tour, the premium tour, a tour for foreigners and a visit to Arqueria Mansion, home to a “library” of all varietals found in the Maipo Valley.
The Isla de Maipo Wine Harvest Festival will offer wine tastings of the classic and premium wines of the region.
Colchagua is the second largest valley in Chile, with a total of just over 29 thousand hectares. In general, it has a fairly warm climate, therefore it primarily produces red wines. Its heat is ideal for the production of Carmenère, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
This festival was held during the first week of March in the Main Square of the town of Santa Cruz, the historical center and heart of the Colchagua Valley. It included different concerts, gastronomy demos, traditional arts and crafts of the area, different types of programs to tour local vineyards and for the first time a wine tasting of the best Colchagua premium wines.
Other varietals that have also gained recognition in the Valley are Malbec and Cabernet Franc, and more recently Garnacha and Mourvedre, Mediterranean varietals that have increased the variety of red wines that visitors can try during their visit to Colchagua.
Traditional arts and crafts, exquisite gastronomy demos, concerts and fun vineyard tours are just some of this weekend’s attractions.