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Wine Tasting Without Leaving the City, at Santiago's Viña Aquitania

Where: Avenida Consistorial 5090, Santiago, Chile
September 26, 2012 at 5:17 PM | by | ()

In honor of #winewednesday, and partly because we're really feelin' the Chile lately, today we visit a winery within Santiago's city limits (believe it or not).

Viña Aquitania sits in the Maipo Valley, but is still very much a part of the city even if the presence of the towering Andes in the background suggests you're way out in some nearly untouched swatch of nature. It's not a humongous winery, nor is it teensy-weensy. It's just right for an hour-long visit with a tour and tasting, and even accessible via public transportation (subway to a bus).

We headed out here with Santiago Adventures for a super-brief taste of what they typically offer in full-day form; that is, entire excursions to visit multiple wineries plus activities, for the wine-serious. It is spring in Chile just now, so the vines weren't anything near their greenest, but the tours continue.

Viña Aquitania is a bit of France in Chile. Three of the four winemakers are French (the fourth is Chilean), the wines are aged in French oak barrels, and they began by planting traditional Bordeaux after acquiring the 43 acres of land in 1990. Now their variety includes vintages also grown in the Malleco Valley as well as the Maipo, but all remain very local (not to mention hand-labelled).

Tasting details: Open by appointment (which really just means call ahead a day or two) and for groups of 2 to 20, Viña Aquitania offers two set tasting menus: 3 wines of the Reserve label (Rose, Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz) for $14 per person or 3 wines of the Premium label (Pinot Noir, Lazuli Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay) for $30 per person. All prices include the full winery tour and Viña Aquitania accepts Chilean Pesos, US Dollars or credit cards.

Our wine pick: Our expensive taste naturally veered towards the most expensive bottle—the $40 2004 Lazuli Cabernet Sauvignon, with its hints of blackcurrant and mocha. The 2008 Sol de Sol Chardonnay of the Malleco Valley wasn't so bad either ($34/bottle), and is in fact one of their wines with the most awards.

To arrange for a visit, call (56 2) 791 45 00 or send an e-mail with time and party size details to info@aquitania.cl.

[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]

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