Friday, September 6, 2013

The Devil in the Wine Cellar

One of the more popular day trips from Santiago, is out into the vineyards surrounding the city. The best known and most tourist-y of them is called Concha y Toro and is located right on the edge of Santiago, making it easily accessible via the Metro and a short taxi ride.

Concha y Toro is an old estate house surrounded by vineyards, tucked away at the bottom of the foothills of the Andes. It's famous for having been the discovery place of a grape that was believed to be extinct, after it was killed by disease in Europe. But a few plants survived, sheltered in Chile, and now you can try them at Concha y Toro.

I visited with a group of fellow English teachers and we took the basic tour, which costs around $15 and includes two wine tastings and a souvenir wine glass. We got to see the vineyards and the wine cellars, and there was a fun story about the "devil in the wine cellar", according to which a devil protects the wine from any would-be thieves.

There's also a nice and not too expensive restaurant, where we tried some more wine, along with cheese, bread and nice entrees like lasagna.

If you find yourself in Santiago, I definitely recommend a trip to Concha y Toro. There are some other less tourist-y places as well, but for something easily accessible from the city and a good quality tour, it's a great escape from Santiago.

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