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Chilean Wine Harvest


In the Chilean countryside, March and April are very active months: the Wine Harvest Festival is held after a long season of patiently waiting for the grapes to mature.


In just a decade, Chilean wines have begun to compete head to head with the main world producers. Spectacular results and international prizes confirm the exceptional quality of Chilean wine and experts on wine tasting have been seduced by our excellent “tannins”. Healthy soil and ideal weather conditions have made Chile a paradise for wine production … and there is still much to be discovered.

The awaited 2004 harvest begins with the first signs of Autumn, sunny days and cool afternoons. Taking advantage of this natural process, the Central Valley vineyards transform the season into a real celebration attracting people from all corners of the country. Since all of the valleys are located within two hours of Santiago, it’s not far to go to discover the delights of the harvest season. The Colchagua Valley, home to some of the best Cabernet’s in the world, is the first to celebrate the “Harvest Festival” (“Fiesta de la Vendimia”) in Santa Cruz, a charming colonial town and also centre point of “Chile’s Wine Routes”. To explore this highly painteresque rural area, you can take a train ride along an exciting recently opened route.

The festivities continue in the Curicó Valley, said to be the most traditional and where in the middle of the city’s plaza, wine flows from a fountain. Maipo, Aconcagua, Cachapoal and the rest of the valleys come later, finishing with Casablanca in late April.

To complement the Wine Harvest Festival there are traditional games and competitions, handcraft and local folklore exhibitions, beauty pageants, grape squashing – as in the olden days, wine tasting courses, and obviously wine tasting, with the delicacies from the local cuisine.

Not to be missed is the National Rodeo Championship which takes place in Rancagua (90 kilometers south from Santiago) and exhibits the traditional skills of the “huasos” (Chilean cowboys). Men come from all over the south of Chile compete for the rodeo trophies. The famous championship takes place between 2- 4 April 2 at Rancagua’s Medialuna.

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Courtesy of VisitChile