The most exciting time of the year is just beginning – the harvest in Chile! While you might not be able to get out and pick some grapes (although you can with many tourism options in wineries around the country), you can certainly enjoy the final product at one of the fun harvest festivals being held around the country. Here are the highlights:
Colchagua (7-9 March)
This weekend is probably the biggest wine festival of them all. Held in Plaza de Armas in Santa Cruz, all the big boys and little boys of Colchagua come out to play with their juicy reds and bold whites. Three days of wine tasting usually attracts a crowd of over 100,000 and for $5,000 chilean pesos (around $10US) you will get your weapon of choice – a tasting glass – to let loose on the great wineries displaying their wares!
Curico (27 – 30 March)
Held in Curico city, 200kms south of Santiago, this is the oldest wine (and probably the longest) festival in the country. Spilling over four days there are a dozen wineries that will be uncorking some of their finest bottles and it usually draws in a crowd of 100,000 wine lovers. You have to pay $2500 ($5US) Chilean pesos for your tasting glass and then each tasting is $500 pesos ($1US) afterwards.
The closest festival to Santiago, the Maipo harvest festival is held in Pirque over three days. As well as getting to taste some of the wines of the region, there is a traditional Chilean rodeo for a bit more family entertainment and you can pick up some artisanal crafts in the market there too. Tickets are $5000 Chilean pesos ($10US).
Casablanca (12 – 13 April)
This cool climate wine region will be the coolest place to hang out at this weekend with a dozen of the local wineries pouring their crisp white wines and edgy cool climate reds. Held in Plaza de Armas in the city of Casablanca, there will be live music and local delicacies to accompany all the vino! Tickets costs $4000 Chilean pesos ($8US).
If you aren’t in Chile to enjoy the buzz of the harvest, you can follow our twitter feed #ChileHarvest2014 and see pictures of the harvest sent in from producers all over the country.
By Amanda Barnes
Photos from Casablanca Valley Association