pageid: 18471

Boutique Wineries in Chile

Andrew Hall, a two-time Ecochile traveler, describes himself as a ‘data guy’. You may be wondering then why we’ve spoken to him about boutique wineries in Chile and their wines.

Andrew loves traveling, primarily to learn, see, and importantly taste new things. Along the way, Chile became a passion of his. His first trip was on something of a whim. After visiting Machu Picchu, he made the most of being in South America and contacted Ecochile to arrange a trip to Santiago and the Atacama Desert. A few years (and a pandemic) later, he traveled again with us to venture along the Carretera Austral and to visit the Torres del Paine National Park on our Southern Chile Experience itinerary.


On each of these trips, he took time to rent a car and explore some of the more unusual vineyards that Chile has to offer. Through trips like these and practicing his curiosity for flavors, Andrew has grown from having an interest to become something of an ‘amateur expert’. And the reason we’re speaking to him about boutique wineries? Andrew combined his interest in wines with his computing skills working for the website, cellartracker.com – a cellar management tool and incredible online library of tasting notes and reviews.


What is special about Chilean wines? 

Chile’s landscape is key in understanding why the country’s wines stand out. The Andes mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Atacama Desert to the north isolate the country from many things, including the dreaded phylloxera pest. In other parts of the world, winemakers protect themselves from the vine-killing insect by grafting the desired grape species onto the roots of a phylloxera-resistant variety. However, in Chile this isn’t necessary. 

Famously, this is the reason why the Carmenere is grown in Chile after many years of believing it was extinct. But besides carmeneres, one variety that stands out is País. Here you can find textures, beauties, and a richness to the wines that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. And the growers really are experts at it, cultivating it in vineyards that are hundreds of years old and passed down through generations. 

Why should you visit a boutique winery?

Although the big wineries offer a great and curated experience to any visitor – and for the most part offer very drinkable wines to the average drinker – they can lack that personal touch in the tours and a distinguishability in their wines. The large producers don’t spend much time or money on different grape varieties, instead opting for the best sellers.

On the other hand, a boutique, small-scale vineyard will offer you something unique, both in the distinct grape varieties and experience. For those who aren’t looking to drink a vast quantity of the wine, finding a curiosity in the flavors that speaks to the creators and lands that made it is much more interesting. 

Consider staying at a winery

For many, wines are one of life’s sweetest luxuries. Staying at a winery, then, is that experience multiplied. The hospitality provided at the vineyards is second to none. Besides the tours of the vines and cellars, you can enjoy the other on-site opportunities, varying from traditional barbeques, to hikes around the grounds and tranquil spa moments.

Some of the vineyards immerse you in an architectural and artistic phenomenon, like Viña VIK, where each room is decorated by a world-renowned artist. Others, like Bouchon, are more rustic and old-fashioned, but with just as much charm and flavor. At the smaller wineries like this one, you could even find yourself sharing a bottle with the owner until the early hours of the morning as Andrew did! 

Sustainability in winemaking 

One of the other benefits of boutique wineries is that they are very naturally organic. Their remoteness often means that the most damaging aspects of winemaking, like the use of pesticides and irrigation methods, aren’t necessary. At vineyards like Bouchon and Garage Wine Co, the vines are old enough to withstand the usual threats. Some also employ renewable energy practices, and many have close ties with the communities around them.

If you’re looking for a vacation through the picturesque vineyards of Chile, speak to an Ecochile travel specialist today!




Embracing the Art of Slow Travel: A Journey Through the Heartlands of Chile and Argentina

They say that time is the greatest luxury there is and we agree, especially when it comes to travel. Many of us are restricted by other obligations and pressures and don’t have the privilege of traveling for extended periods of time – as much as we may like to! Sometimes we have to make the most of the week or two that we have to explore a new country or region. But by taking a breath and a step back, we can get so much more out of our travels. 

Slow travel

Slow travel has become a buzzword in the sustainable travel space over recent years. It can be tempting when you go to a destination to try to see everything and pack in as much as possible. But this isn’t only worse for the environment (more local travel creates more emissions and changing of hotel increases water consumption), it can also be exhausting!

Slow travel offers an alternative. It isn’t just a pace, but a mindset too. Vacationing is as much about taking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life as it is about discovering new destinations. Slow travel suggests spending relaxed, quality time in your destinations to build a deeper connection, living like a local by visiting local restaurants and shops, and creating unforgettable memories that don’t seem like a fleeting moment in time. And the best thing is you practice it on short or long trips, depending on when you need to get home!

If you have the opportunity to spend just a few days in Torres del Paine or El Chalten, just taking some brief moments to breathe the clean air and take in the epic landscapes will be life-changing. Likewise, whether you visit the Atacama for three days or two weeks, taking a moment to be mindful and appreciate what’s around you rather than worrying about packing your bags for the next location will transform how you travel. 

In Chile and Argentina, the slow travel philosophy aligns seamlessly with the essence of the land and landscapes. There’s a saying in Patagonia that if you rush through you’re doing it wrong, but we believe that’s true wherever you are. Here, at the end of the world, time seems to stretch out in rhythm with the sprawling landscapes of the northern deserts, the rolling wine valleys, and the ancient forests of the lakes regions. 

Chile: A Tapestry of Contrasts

Begin your slow travel odyssey in Chile, a country that stretches from the arid Atacama Desert in the north to the glacial fjords of Patagonia in the south. Santiago, the vibrant capital, serves as a gateway to diverse landscapes and cultural experiences. Take your time exploring the city’s historic neighborhoods, savoring the flavors of local cuisine, and discovering the fusion of modernity and tradition. 

As you venture southward, the lush vineyards of the Central Valley beckons. Slow down to sip on Chilean wine, crafted with care and precision, and allow the serene lakes to cast their spell on you. In the lakes region, discover the myths of the Chiloé Archipelago, with its iconic wooden churches and picturesque fishing villages that invite visitors to step back in time and relish the simplicity of life. Over on the mainland, you can walk up the almost perfectly conical Osorno Volcano, or walk amongst the 3000-year old trees of the Alerce Andino National Park. 

Argentina: Tango, Gastronomy, and Endless Horizons

Crossing the border into Argentina, the spirit of slow travel continues to unfold. Buenos Aires, the birthplace of tango, is a city that thrives on passion and rhythm. Allow yourself to be swept away by the music and dance, meander through cobblestone streets, and indulge in the city’s renowned culinary scene. Argentina’s slow-cooked asados (barbecues) are a gastronomic journey in themselves, reflecting the country’s dedication to flavor and tradition.

From the vibrant city life, journey into the heart of the Andes. The northwest region of Argentina, with its colorful mountains and indigenous communities, invites travelers to savor the authenticity of local cultures. Cafayate, nestled in the Calchaquí Valleys, is a haven for wine enthusiasts, where vineyards dot the landscape, and each sip tells a story of the sun-drenched terroir.

Patagonia: Nature’s Symphony

No exploration of slow travel in Chile and Argentina is complete without a pilgrimage to Patagonia. This untamed wilderness, shared by both countries, is a haven for those seeking solitude and communion with nature. Take your time trekking through Torres del Paine National Park, where emerald lakes mirror granite spires, and the wind whispers tales of ancient glaciers.

In the southern reaches of Patagonia, the town of El Calafate beckons with the majesty of the Perito Moreno Glacier. Witness the slow dance of nature as icebergs calve into the turquoise waters, and feel the enormity of time etched into the glacial landscape.

We’ll be here when you’re ready

In the embrace of slow travel, Chile and Argentina reveal themselves as more than just destinations; they become immersive experiences that linger in the soul. As you traverse these lands at a leisurely pace, you’ll discover that the true beauty lies not just in the destinations, but in the journey itself—a journey that unfolds like a captivating novel, inviting you to savor each chapter and relish the intricate details that make these countries a canvas of memories.