Article Updated April 2016
If you have access to a car, there are a lot of vineyards to visit near Santiago, but Viña Concha y Toro is one that you can easily access by the Metro!
Concha y Toro, founded in 1883, is a well known winery both in South America and abroad. It’s the top wine producer in Latin America, so if you want to see a big winery in action then this is the place to go. In 1994 they became the first winery to trade their shares on the New York Stock Exchange. It is also very popular in England; if you notice the Manchester United accessories on sale in their Wine Shop, that’s because in 2010, Concha y Toro became their official wine partner. Concha y Toro was also named “The Most Admired Wine Brand in the World” for 2011, 2012 and 2013 by England’s Drinks International magazine.
The vineyard runs two different tours daily starting at various times between 9:50am to 5:10pm (they are closed for holidays on January 1, May 1, September 18 and 19 and December 25). They request that you book online at least 24 hours in advance, but this is the largest vineyard in Chile so if you drop in it’s likely that they will be able to accommodate you on one of the next tours in your language.
When you arrive at the winery go to the window right inside the gates to pay for your tour, and if you haven’t made reservations you can ask here about tour availability. The tour guides speak English well, so feel free to ask questions during your tour.
Tourist Tip: If you arrive late and your tour has already started, wait and go on the next one, otherwise you will miss part of the tour and might not be able to see all the grounds.
The Traditional Tour is about an hour long, includes a souvenir wine glass and is currently offered over 30 times a day in three languages: Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Cost: $12.000 CLP
It takes you through the main grounds of the winery; you will make a stop in their wine garden, which showcases all the grapes they grow, and where you can sample all the different varieties growing. If you go right around harvest time you will get the best samples! Next, you head to the terrace to sip a cool white wine in the sunshine. After which you head into the Casillero del Diablo (the Devil’s Cellar). What happens next although really corny is in my opinion the highlight of the tour. Then you walk back upstairs for the red wine tasting, at which point the tour concludes, in the same courtyard where you began. You can then visit the Wine Shop or the Wine Bar. There is generally a 15% discount on all wines sold in the Wine Shop and they usually have some additional specials.
Tourist Tip: When in the Casillero del Diablo make sure to set your camera to night settings, turn off your flash and brace it on something solid, to avoid movement, you will have some great photo opportunities here!
The other tour available, the Marques De Casa Concha Tour is also about an hour long, includes a souvenir wine glass and is available in Spanish and English. It is similar to the Traditional tour but the tasting is of their Marques de Casa Concha premium wines and the wines are paired with various cheeses. This tour is offered fewer times each day, and only once a day in English, so if you’re interested in this tour I would recommend making a reservation to ensure your spot.
Cost: $22.000 CLP
Where to Eat
Their Wine Bar is located in the same courtyard where you begin and end your tour. If you are hungry you can stop by for a meal or a snack and of course they have more wines available for you to try. There are also several restaurants in Pirque, on Avenida Ramón Subercaseaux several kilometers away from the winery, including a popular Chilean restaurant, La Vaquita Echa. Alternatively you can return to the Metro where they have an assortment of local restaurants for you to choose from.
Both the Wine Shop and the Wine Bar are open Monday to Sunday from 9:30am to 6:30pm, so if you’re in the area and want to buy some discounted wines or just enjoy a glass you can stop by during those hours. If you just want to visit the Wine Shop or the Wine Bar, you don’t need to make a reservation, just tell the guards at the gate you are going to the Wine Bar or the Wine Shop. Keep in mind you won’t be able to wander the grounds, they can be very strict about staying in the courtyard area outside of the guided tours.
When to Go
Wineries in Chile are typically open for tourism year round, however since January and February are big summer vacation months in Chile, many wineries will close down at some point during those months so make sure to call or e-mail in advance during that time. March through May are the typical harvest months with more activity at the wineries. Some wineries will even offer special vendimia (harvest) events, either festivals or the option to participate in the harvesting itself, check their websites or contact them to learn about any vendimia programs. If you want to visit and witness the harvest in progress you will have to be in close contact with the wineries as the harvest varies each year and often they don’t know until the week they start when it will begin.
How to Get There
Just hop on at your closest Metro station, get onto Line 4 (the blue line), and take it to Metro Station Plaza de Puente Alto, the end of the line (approximately 45 minutes from Santiago Centro). From there, walk to Calle Concha y Toro where you can take a bus, or flag down one of the many taxis passing by for a quick ten minute ride to the winery, The cost for a taxi is approximately $3.000 CLP. If you have time and want to save money, you can walk straight up Calle Concha y Toro to the winery, it takes about 45 minutes but do note it’s a pretty dusty walk. After your tour, you can ask the winery to call you a taxi to return to the Metro. It usually takes about 10 minutes for the taxis to arrive.
If you want to drive yourself just enter: Avenida Virginia Subercaseaux 210, Pirque, Santiago
into your GPS or Google maps and hit the road.
Tourist Tip: There are no signs for the vineyard along the road until you reach the entrance gate, so don’t worry, if you follow our map, you’re going the right way!
For more photos of Concha y Toro check out our Facebook Album.
Note: This story was accurate when published. Please be sure to confirm all details directly with the sites in question before planning your trip.
To learn more about Beth, read her bio!