It might be full summer in the Northern Hemisphere, but down here in Chile we are in the midst of our snowy ski season! If you are planning a trip down here, this is your guide to ski resorts and Chilean wine.
Wine and ski is a perfect combination: warming up with a full-bodied red wine next to a cosy fireplace after an active morning on the slopes. In Chile that's exactly what is on offer!
This season there are lots of wine weeks to take advantage of in some of our most renowned resorts: Wines of Chile Sunset hours in Valle Nevado, a wine gala in El Colorado, and the even longer Wine Week (30 July - 5 Aug) and Wine Fest (20 - 26 Aug) in El Portillo.
If you are planning a trip to Chile this ski season (July-September), take a look at our quick guide to the top resorts:
Some 3025 meters above sealevel, this is one of the resorts closest to Santiago and is popular as a day trip. You might want to extend that trip into the evening though as Wines of Chile has some special wine events on the evenings of 19 July, 26 July and 16 August where music, wine and canapes combine as you enjoy the sun setting over the snow. Carmen, Santa Rita, Aresti, and Harás de Pirque are some of the participating wineries.
On the road to Argentina from Santiago, El Portillo has been a hot ski spot for almost 70 years and the luxurious hotel offers more than just snow. There are some dates any wine lover needs to keep in mind: Wine Week (30 July - 5 Aug) and Wine Fest (20 - 26 Aug), where each evening is filled with wine and music.
One of the most visited resorts, this year La Parva is opening a new set of runs to explore. There is also evening lighting so that you can keep sking till 9pm.
Always the first to open its slopes, Farellones had its first ski-worthy snow in April! This family resort has other activities on offer including canopy, tubing and ski shoes.
As well as some excellent slopes, El Colorado has a special dome where they host events throughout the season with nighttime cinema, a jazz festival and this year there is a special wine gala on 10 September.
Nevados de Chillán
Far south towards the Itata wine region is Chillan's main resort, which opened at the end of June. This is the region where you'll start to get some delicious Patagonian lamb to accompany your after ski dinner. Nearby are the Termas de Chillan where you can warm up in the thermal pools between skis, if you want to spa further afield try out the new 'helitermal' which takes you to secluded spots in a helicopter!
Near the active and smoking volcano of Villarica, Pucon is a stunning destination in the mountains. This year it is reopening its slopes (after a volcano alert the last year) and so you can ski once again in this stunning region in the south of Chile.