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Travel Stories

Bicycling Chile’s Wine Country

by ExperiencePlus! - Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Over the years, Chile has built a reputation of development, production and exportation of fine wines.  Yet it is uncommon to hear about the fertile lands where these fine grapes grow.

Join us on our bicycle tour through Chile’s wine district and you’ll have the chance not only to sample great wines, but to visit vineyards where the wine is produced and learn about Chilean history, people and culture.  Our bicycle tour takes you through the “Huaso Chileno,” or Chilean Cowboy district. Families in this fertile valley have worked the land for more than 300 hundred years, producing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and grapes.

On our bike tour, we’ll stay in small villages that transport you to the heart of the old Chilean country – like Zuñiga with its well-preserved adobe colonial houses built in 1750, or Larmahue with its 17th century wooden water mills. We’ll bicycle around, up (and over!) valleys as we pedal from the central wine producing area to the Pacific Coast.  With each glass of Carmenere (the grape and wine unique to this region), each vineyards secrets will be revealed.  On our visit to the various wineries we learn how the Chilean climate and geography allowed its Carmenere grape to survive the aphid-like insect “phylloxera” epidemic that destroyed most of the Carmenere vineyards in Europe in the late 19th century. In the evenings we’ll have time to wander the streets of colonial Santa Cruz and the shores of Lago Vichuquen. For dinner we’ll enjoy a “congrio” (hake or sea bass) at Duao, Constitución or Peyuhue –  perfect seaside destinations for those of you searching for fresh seafood or shellfish.
The combination of great cycling, beautiful scenary and Chilean culinary delights makes this an unforgettable bicycle tour.

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