Santa Rita Winery Bike and Wine Tour
Pedal your way through the vineyards of Maipo Valley on this 5-hour bike and wine tasting tour from Santiago. During the leisurely 6-mile (10-km) ride on unpaved paths, admire the backdrop of the Andes Mountains as you pass by orchards and farms. At Carmen winery, learn about Chileís signature grape, and gain insight into Nativa’s organic approach to winemaking. Then explore Santa Rita winery, an estate steeped in history. Four wine tastings and round-trip hotel transport are included.Leave the teeming streets of Santiago for a bike ride in the winemaking region of Maipo Valley. After hotel pickup, travel with your guide for about 45 minutes south of the city. Upon arrival at Santa Rita winery, located in Alto Jahuel, listen as your guide takes you through a short safety briefing and provides you with a bicycle and helmet. Hop on your bike and enjoy a leisurely cycle, pedaling along mostly flat, unpaved country roads that take you to orchards, farms and vineyards. Stop every now and then for a breather and a history lesson about the area. At Carmen, founded in 1850, you’ll learn how the winery pioneered in the cultivation of Chile’s iconic carmenere grape. A red varietal originally from France, the grape vanished from European vineyards in the mid-19th century and reappeared among merlot vines in Maipo Valley a hundred years later. The deep purple grape with smooth tannins and natural fruity spiciness produces wine often described as the ëBordeaux of South America.íHead over to Nativa, part of the Carmen winery, where youíll learn about its production of cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay using certified organic grapes from Alto Maipo Valley. Your bike ride nearly complete, enjoy your first wine tasting perched on a hilltop. As you sip your wine, breathe in fragrant mountain air and admire marvelous views of Maipo Valley and the rolling hills at the base of the Andes. Ride along clay-baked paths back to Santa Rita for a tour of another one of Chile’s oldest wineries. After you drop off your bike, enter fermentation cellars and the bottling plant; walk by the colonial-era Bodega 1 stone-and-mortar building; and stand in front of Dota Paula Restaurant to hear about an entertaining historical event that inspired its renowned 120 label. At the wine bar, enjoy three wine tastings, including carmenere, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, chardonnay or syrah.During your remaining time, visit the wine shop, stroll the landscaped grounds, or browse through an impressive private collection of more than 3,000 pre-Columbian artifacts inside Andean Museum. Arrive back in Santiago in the afternoon and perhaps pop open a bottle from Santa Rita that evening.