Exploring Chile’s Vineyards: A trip to Concha y Toro

Santiago is literally surrounded by vineyards and there is quite an industry created around vineyard visits…we just couldn’t turn down the opportunity to have a nose around!

We decided to visit Concha y Toro winery.  It is the second largest winery in the world (after Gallo wines in America) and is particularly famous for its Castillero del Diablo (‘cellar of the devil’) wines.

We started our adventure by going to the end of the metro line and then jumping on a small local bus out to the village of Pirque where the vineyard is located.

A little early for our tour we started with a pre wine tasting before our wine tasting tour!

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Some pre-tasting tastings!

Our tour started with exploring some of the grounds and hearing some of the history of the vineyards.

We then spent some time in the ‘varieties garden’ where the different grape varieties grown in Chile were set out in a pretty display.  This was especially beautiful due to the autumn colours.  You can taste the grapes if it is harvest season, which we managed to miss by about a month (Ryan still managed to find some shrivelled up grapes on the vine though!)

We then indulged in the first of two tasting sessions and were given our own engraved glass to take away with us as well!

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Now for the proper tastings!

After this we visited the cellars – starting with the modern cellars with fancy oak barrels and controlled by modern humidity and temperature systems.

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Inside the modern cellars

We then visited the old cellars which are the inspiration for the diablo legend.  We were left alone in the cellar listening to the story as to why the cellar got its name.  The cellar is said to be protected by the devil who scares off any thieves who try and trespass!

Having survived the cellar we decided to treat ourselves to a nice lunch and more wine before heading back to our apartment in the centre of Santiago.  Yum!

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Traditional Chilean dishes (accompanied with yet more wine!)

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