This year’s vintage pick has started again like clockwork, and the first of several vendimia –or harvest- festivals will start in Colchagua Valley, home to some of Chile’s finest wineries.
If you’ve never been to a Vendimia festival this is a great one to start with. There’s no official list of participating vineyards, but in the past it’s included most of the local wine makers: Montes, Viu Manet, Santa Cruz, Laura Hardwig, Casa Lapostelle, Neyen, Las Ñiñas and more.
The festival takes place in and around the Plaza de Armas of Santa Cruz, which is about a 2.5 hour drive or 3 hour bus ride from Santiago, and set right in front of the Hotel Santa Cruz and its adjacent casino and museum.
The wine is the centerpiece, but the smell of multiple BBQs is plentiful, in past years there have even been proper ribs, kebab, grilled corn and a bit more than your typical offer at a Chilean asado.
Santa Cruz also brings together local musicians both small cowboy (huasos) types but also big nationally recognized acts. This year the headliner, playing Saturday at 10pm, is Los Tres. Entry costs CHP 1000.
Have a look at some photos from a couple years back.
There is no entry fee, rather you pay CHP 4000 for a wine glass and four tasting tickets.
The event website is at Vendimia Santa Cruz 2013.
You never know who you’ll run into, I ran into Chile’s current President Sebastian Piñera after about my 6th glass of wine as he was preparing to launch his campaign. He was not drinking wine though.
Photo credit: Vendimia de Santa Cruz
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