Valparaíso & Winelands holiday highlights

Valparaíso was once an important seaport where ships would stop over before taking treasures of the colonies back to Spain. Today, this Chilean city showcases fine examples of late 19th-Century architecture. Let vintage outdoor elevators transport you up the steep streets which are lined with beautifully vibrant buildings and eclectic street art, or climb the charming cobbled street of Cerros Concepción under your own steam.

Wine production has a rich history in Chile since the Spanish conquest of the Americas in the mid-16th Century. The first European settlers brought vines from the Mediterranean region of the Old World and established numerous vineyards between the Atacama region in the north and Bío Bío region in south central Chile. The Casablanca Valley, which can be easily reached from Santiago, is a relative newcomer in terms of Chilean wine production and creates fresh, crisp wines due to its cool coastal climate.

Much like Argentina, its neighbour to the east, the history of Chile’s wine production began when the Spanish settlers brought a collection of Mediterranean common grape vine. The industry grew with the addition of varieties from France – including Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon – in the 19th Century.  Although only eighth in the world in wine production terms, Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter. With over twenty varieties of grapes grown throughout the country, there is plenty of choice for wine lovers.