Things to Do in Chile – Wine tasting at Emiliana Organic Vineyards

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Chile is rightly celebrated for its wine production, particularly red wines. The Chilean wines that we get outside of Chile are often lower-priced “stack ’em high” bottles which don’t tell the full story of the excellent, high-end and specialty wines that are produced in the Viña del Mar region of South America. When I wanted a day trip out of Santiago, I combined a wine tasting at Emiliana with a day trip to Valparaiso.

View this Vineyard & Valparaíso tour now

TL;DR? don’t have time for a full review? In short: this tour is a full day, but totally comfortable and doable. The guides are knowledgeable and the wine-tasting, Neruda Museum and Valparaiso city tour gave me all I needed from a one-day trip for under $100.

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Enjoy one of the best trips that I took myself on my last visit to Chile. This is a busy day that includes a vineyard tour and wine tasting with a guided tour of Valparaiso, the colourful coastal city, and includes hotel pick-up and drop-off in Santiago, Chile.
Emiliana Vineyards sign

Quick Facts

  • Emiliana Organic Vineyards
  • Part of an organised and guided tour available here. My tour guide was Eduardo.
  • Best time to visit: shoulder season (Spring & Autumn)
  • Duration: one hour tour including wine tasting of 4 wines, 2 red and 2 white
  • Price range: approx $95 USD including day trip to Valparaiso
  • Suitable for: Solo travellers, couples, friend groups

Things to Do – The Emiliana Vineyard Tour

Salvia plants at Vina del Mar

The vineyard tour includes two important parts. First, visitors are met by an English and Spanish-speaking tour guide (other languages are available by prior arrangement). We were introduced to the biodynamic process through which vines are planted, the fruit picked and processed, and the wines fermented. The guide shared that particular herbs and plants are grown between vines to encourage or discourage particular insects which might improve the crop and development of flavours. We also got to walk around the working yard and get some photographs with the vines, fabulous flowers and lilac, and some friendly llamas (or are they alpacas?)!

Second, although it was still morning, there was a wine tasting event so the staff could connect together how we had seen their process, with the end product they produce. I have to say these were some rich and flavourful Chilean wines. It was fun to try a few different types and we got 2 red and 2 white wines to try. I didn’t like everything, but a fruity big-nosed Chilean red is always welcome! And it was great to try them with the Chilean mountains as a backdrop.

Insider Tips

Some llamas or alpacas

Take the time to get the photographs that you want. There’s plenty of waiting time as you’re handed off from the tour guide to the wine-tasting expert – use this to your advantage. There will also be time for shopping in the vineyard store at the end of the wine-tasting. Personally, I wouldn’t buy lots of wine at that point, as you’ll have to carry it or look after it during the rest of your day. The wines are, however, available from certain wine stores in Santiago, ask your guide for more information.

The wine store at Emiliana

Self-Organised Trips to Viña del Mar

If you’re tempted to take a longer trip to vineyards like Emiliana Vineyard on your own or with family or friends, the area of Viña del Mar is a beautiful location to spend a day or two. To be clear, most people staying in Santiago should take a guided tour, not least because you can enjoy the wine tasting and not have to drive a car afterwards.

If you want to self-organise a wine-tasting similar to the package I took, expect the following:

  • You’ll have to drive to the vineyards (use Expedia to compare car rental options here)
  • A one hour tour includes a deep dive into biodynamic agriculture and a tasting of 4 wines
  • Typical cost per person is CLP $34.900 or around USD $35
  • There are excellent places to stay and dine nearby.

Where to Stay near Emiliana Vineyard

If you’re making a visit to the Viña del Mar area, prices are generally very fair from around $50 USD for a budget hotel up to $120 USD for higher end. Plan to include one of these Best Seller Hotels in Viña del Mar in your itinerary (click on the name to view prices for your dates):

High-end: Pullman Viña del Mar San Martín
Mid-Priced: Hotel Oceanic
Budget: Hotel 3 Poniente

The hotels shown include breakfast as part of their prices.

TOUR INCLUDES

Bicycle at Emiliana Vineyard
Pick-up & return in Santiago
Tour driver & Guide
Emiliana Organic Vineyard (or similar)
Lunch stop (own expense)
Neruda Museum
Guided Tour of Valparaiso

WHAT TO BRING

A Planet Patrick cap
Hat & Sunglasses
Cash (smaller notes)
Anti-theft day bag
Refillable water bottle
Travel money belt
SPF+50 sunscreen
Camera or Go-Pro

Conclusion

A visit to a well-organised biodynamic vineyard like Emiliana Organic Vineyards is a must-do on your trip to Chile. It’s easily accessible as part of a tour from Santiago, can be included in a self-organised itinerary or road trip around Chile and gives you an insight into how an important Chilean export market actually looks and feels on the ground. In my view, I’d do this tour again to avoid driving but if you don’t mind not tasting, or have a sober designated driver, it’s perfectly possible to self-organise too.

View this Vineyard & Valparaíso tour now

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I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.