Viña Santa Carolina
Santiago’s most accessible winery is a short subway ride from downtown—at its creation in 1875, though, Luis Pereira’s Viña Santa Carolina was puro campo (countryside). Santiago gradually enveloped it and there are no more vineyards here, but the original house, a national historical monument with galleries and patios, and impressive subterranean vaults where the wine ages in French oak casks remain.
Santa Carolina’s main white varietals are chardonnay and sauvignon blanc, while the reds include cabernet sauvignon, carmenere, merlot, and syrah; there are also blends of both whites and reds.
In the comuna of Macul, Viña Santa Carolina (Av. Rodrigo de Araya 1431, tel. 02/4503000, www.santacarolina.com, malvarez [at] santacarolina [dot] cl) is open to visits and tastings on request, with as much advance notice as possible. It’s only a 10-minute walk from Metro Rodrigo de Araya (Línea 5). The vineyards themselves are in the Cachapoal, Colchagua, and Casablanca valleys (the latter, between Santiago and [node:23176 link Valparaíso, may soon be open to visitors).
© Wayne Bernhardson from Moon Chile, 2nd edition