For 2016 Vendimia’s check out our new article!
Vendimias (wine harvest festivals) are very popular in Chile. Most towns in the wine regions and some wineries will have one during the fall harvest, typically the end of February through to the beginning of May. Vendimias are often not planned or published far in advance so if you are planning a future trip, and want to attend one, you will need to look for them closer to your travel dates. Also note that some festivals were cancelled after the earthquake in February 2010 and although most have restarted, not all have so if you’re searching for one that hasn’t been held in recent years they likely won’t have one this year. Each vendimia will be different, but you can expect there will be some grape stomping, the crowning of a wine queen, local musical acts, artisanal products for sale, local food and drinks on offer, and of course lots of wine to sample.
The vineyards that attend the festivals will vary and it can be a good opportunity to taste a variety of wines from smaller vineyards that may not be open for tours or tastings. Prices vary but overall they are pretty inexpensive, usually you will buy a glass with some tasting tickets, which you give to the vendors in exchange for sampling their wine. If you run out of tickets you can purchase additional tickets at some vendimias, and at others you have to buy another glass/ticket combo, which if you’re stocking up on glassware is great but as a tourist it’s not as ideal.
Some vendors will allow you to taste several wines for your ticket and some will only take the ticket if you really liked their wine so play it by ear, you can often taste a good variety of wines with just one ticket. Often they will have wine for sale, though depending on the vendimia it may be sold at the winery booths or at a main sales booth. Usually if you buy a bottle from the winery booth they will be even more generous with their samples!
Buying wine, if you’re staying in Chile for a while you shouldn’t have any issues, but keep in mind that if you want to bring wine back with you, your country will have tax-free import limitations. A good thing to keep in mind is many Chilean wineries export a majority of their wines, so ask them if they are available in your country. Another alternative is to ask about shipping wines home, but this can be very expensive. Don’t forget if you take your wine on a trip, let it rest for a few weeks before opening it to avoid bottle shock!
Most vendimias are easy to find as they’re generally located in the main squares of the town. If you don’t want to drive, and are going to one near Santiago, you can usually get a local bus there and back, just check with the driver regarding the return bus stop location and how late they run.
Vendimias at vineyards are often set up differently, some have a ticketing system for food and wine tastings, others have a set fee for unlimited snacks and tastings, and some will have set events like a day at the winery. Events can include participation in the harvest, lunches, picnics, dinners, tastings, tours, wine making and more. Set winery events will often require advanced reservations, as spaces may be limited, so make sure you plan ahead if you want to experience them.
We have listed the already scheduled vendimias and winery harvest events/tours below, we will continue to add to this list as the vendimias are announced so check back if your favorite isn’t updated yet. Keep in mind that they are usually about the same time each year so we have listed the dates of the 2013 vendimia if the 2014 haven’t been announced yet.
Arica – Codpa
Fiesta de la Vendimia Valle de Codpa was held May 17-19 in 2013
Valle del Elqui (Elqui Valley)
Carnaval del Vino Lontué 2013 was held March 1-2 in 2013
Valle de Casablanca (Casablanca Valley)
NOTICE: As of April 5, 2014 Casablanca’s Vendimia has been cancelled for 2014, we will advise if they reschedule it! Casablanca’s vendimia is scheduled for April 12-13, 2014
House Casa Del Vino is having their Vendimia on April 5, 2014
Kingston Family Winery has vendima tours with lunch through May, starting at $40.000 CLP per person, only with prior reservations.
Valle de San Antonio (San Antonio Valley)
Casa Marín – Has working for a day at Casa Marín available only during the harvest season, $55.000 CLP per person, contact them for dates and availability
Isla de Maipo
XI Fiesta de la Vendimia Isla de Maipo is being held April 5-6, 2014, at the Plaza de Armas de Isla de Maipo
12th Fiesta de la Vendimia de Chile Buin 2014 is being held March 28-30, 2014, on Avenida Parque O’Higgins, Buin
De Martino – Has harvest tour, available only during the harvest season, $10.000 CLP Per person, contact for dates and availability
Vendimia was held May 4, 2013
Santa Cruz, Ruta del Vino – Has a full day harvest program including the Vendimia and transportation to and from Santiago for $49.000 CLP per person March 8-9, 2014
Vendimia Peralillo Colchagua 2014 is being held March 29-30 in the Parque Municipal of Peralillo
Viu Manet – Has a special vendimia program available March 20th, April 4, 12 & 26, 2014, $50.000 CLP per person.
MontGras – Has a special harvest program available February – May contact them for prices, dates and availability
Pilar Rodriguez Food & Wine Studio – Is doing a special vendimia lunch and dinner, lunch $35.000 CLP per person, dinner $50.000 CLP per person
Estampa – Has a harvest program during March & April, contact for prices, dates and availability
San Pedro – Has harvest tour during March and April, must reserve with 5 days notice, $60 USD per person
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