The Maipo Valley is one of the most important and well-known wine producing regions in Chile. The valley is surrounded by the Andes on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other. This region produces primarily Cabernet Sauvignon and is sometimes even referred to as the Bordeaux of South America. Maipo Valley is a super easy day trip from Santiago and can easily be done on your own if you have a car. It does require a little bit of advance planning and a few things to know before you go. This post covers the best wineries to visit in the Maipo Valley and everything you need to know when visiting the Maipo Valley.
Visiting the Maipo Valley
Before I go into the best wineries, here are some important things to know/tips about visiting the Maipo Valley
- The Maipo Valley on average is about 35-45 minutes from Santiago
- Unlike the Casablanca Valley, the Maipo Valley wineries are a little more spread out
- An advanced reservation is a must, if you want to do a tour and tasting
- Given the above, you will have to decide beforehand which wineries you are going to visit and in what order
- Most wineries don’t open or have tours until 10 am and close at 5/6 pm. Given this, you may only have time for 3 or so wineries
- Not all tours are in English. The English speaking tours are less frequent than the Spanish ones
- Prepare to spend more time than what the winery may claim the tour’s duration to be
- Some wineries offer tastings only or tours only so you can do a combination of either or both (having interned in a winery in California a few years ago, I definitely did not want to tour every place I visited so I did just tastings in some)
Best Wineries in the Maipo Valley
I did no visit all 5 wineries on this list but I did do a lot of extensive research before I visited on the best wineries in the Maipo Valley. There are a lot of wineries and it can be overwhelming but that’s where my research can help. These were my shortlisted winners. I couldn’t visit all 5 because I simply knew I would run out of time (trust me I wanted to visit all!)
First on this list of best wineries in the Maipo Valley is my personal favorite! Just 30 minutes from Santiago, this one can even be done on a separate day from the rest of the wineries since it’s so close to the city. Contact Sheila to make a reservation. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
As you enter through the gates, you are greeting with the most stunning views of the vineyards and the mighty Andes in the background. I booked just a tasting here so I had to wait until the people who had booked a tour were done. I didn’t mind though because I took an excessive amounts of pictures of this stunning vineyard.
The tasting itself was in an beautiful setting in the gardens, under a shady tree. We tasted 4 different wines. 2 reds, 1 white and 1 rose. The pours were very generous and we were even asked if we wanted more. They even served some dried fruits, nuts and crackers. The rose was my favorite! Probably the best rose I have had to date.
You can also purchase bottles of wine here.
Concha y Toro
Concha Y Toro is the largest producer of wines in Latin America. Being the largest, they are also the most popular. I had read that Concha y Toro was a little touristy but I still didn’t want to come to Chile and not visit its most famous wine producer. My compromise here was to have lunch at the restaurant at Concha y Toro where I could still taste their wines but didn’t have to go through the tour.
If you are interested in a wine tour, they have several different tours ranging from 70 – 120 minutes. These include 3 – 8 tastings depending on the tour. The traditional tour (70 minutes/3 tastings) has 5 English tours a day. You can check all their tours and tastings HERE. It’s easy to buy tickets online.
Undurraga is a highly rated vineyard in the Maipo Valley. It is also one of the oldest wineries in Chile. You need to make an advanced booking here as well. I tried to book online but for some reason it was glitching so I reached out on Instagram and they gave me this email address email@example.com to contact. Patricia was super helpful! I even had to switch the time from the morning tour to the evening and she was very accommodating.
I booked the Sibaris tour and it was fantastic. This tour included a walk in their gardens and vineyards, a visit to the winery and cellars, a gander at their small museum and of course a tasting. We even got to keep the glass we used for the tasting, which I thought was a thoughtful inclusion. The guide did such a good job explaining everything from the history of the winery to the wine making process.
Viña Santa Rita
Santa Rita is another popular winery in the Maipo Valley. I had read a lot of great things about Santa Rita but unfortunately just ran out of time. This is mainly because I spent a lot of time at Aquitania that morning. Firstly because I had to wait for the tour part to be over and that went over and secondly because the folks on the tour were awesome and when I joined them on the tasting part we ended up sitting under that tree and chatting for a long time.
In any case, I did not have a reservation at Santa Rota. I had read that Santa Rita sometimes will accommodate people for tastings only so I was hoping to just show up and do the same. However, if you are keen on going to Santa Rita for a tasting, I highly recommend you make a reservation beforehand. Tours of course do require advance bookings. You can check all the options HERE. The classic tour is offered twice a day in English.
Viña El Principal
Viña El Principal is a boutique winery at the highest elevation in Maipo Valley. This is also another well rated winery. It is however, a little out of the way compared to the rest of the wineries. They have different tours at different lengths. All need to be reserved ahead of time. They also offer tastings without a tour but this too needs to be reserved ahead of time.
El Principal was actually one of the first wineries I reached out to for a tour and I even had one booked but alas, they had some unexpected maintenance work to be done in their cellars the day of the tour and had to cancel tours for that day. However, it was very easy to communicate with them. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. I corresponded with a person named Alexandra
You can check out their tours HERE
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See my detailed post on the Casablanca Valley HERE or below!
Check out my post on Santiago HERE
Check out all my posts on Chile HERE
We visited there and saw these wineries. Anita