Chile is a renowned producer and major exporter of high quality wine. The green and rugged Maipo Valley southeast of Santiago is considered by many experts to be the best wine-producing area in Chile and provides an easy escape from the bustle of the capital.
Chile grows a variety of grape including Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which are harvested from February, through to the end of April. The summers are hot and dry therefore guaranteeing good large ripe fruit nurtured by the melted snow of the Andes. There are several notable vineyards in the area, including Cousino-Macul, Concha y Toro, Santa Ines and Undurraga. While in Chile, it is worth going on a day trip to visit the local vineyards or stay the night, as some owners have opened their properties to paying guests.