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See the map of the Colchagua Valley

 
 
 
See map of the Wine Route
 
 
 

The Route of the Wine of the Colchagua Valley, in the Sixth Region, is the first tourist circuit about wine created in Chile in 1996. To speak of Chile, of its history and of its culture, it is to speak of the wine, of its quality and good flavor. Of the white, the red and of their prizes in the international scene.

The Colchagua Valley is watered by the river Tinguiririca, of which fertile valleys arise where the vineyards find an ideal place to grow. It is a clearly agricultural zone inhabited by people of diverse origin: peasants, merchants, managers and traditional families of old lineage.
Their center is in the city Santa Cruz which has become the center of wine growing: a traditional activity of the central area and that has given fame to our country in the whole world.
Viu Manent vineyard Vines Ageing wines
Colchagua, which in indigenous language means "valley of small lagoons", is the land where the hunting tribe of the Chiquillanes lived, the most warlike and hardened of the Mapuche nation. This tribe was conquered by the Incas in the 15th century, who established in this valley the southern limit of their large empire. The first pre-Hispanic irrigation works were built by the Incas, introducing in this way the agriculture to the Valley of Colchagua.
By the middle of the 16th century, together with the discovery of America and the Spanish Conquest of Chile, the Jesuit missionaries introduced the first vineyards in Chile, necessary for the production of wine for the mass. These vineyards were set up near the coast, in the Jesuit Mission in Pichilemu. This would mark the beginning of vine growing in the Colchagua Valley.
Together with the colonization in the 16th century, the haciendas are settled in the Valley, covering large land extensions, which the King of Spain gave to his most distinguished officers, being the lands of Colchagua the most wanted for their climate, ideal for agriculture and cattle raising.
These lands were the scenario where the Republic of Chile was forged. In 1810 Chile became independent of Spain and since then the more traditional families acquired lands in this Valley and built wonderful mansions which are there until now.
By the middle of the 19th century, the introduction of fine French vine stocks begins in Chile, coming from the area of Bordeaux. The first vineyards with these vine stocks in the Colchagua valley were founded in 1870, what finally marked the vineyards supremacy in this area.
For many years, the wines produced in Colchagua were bought by the big bottling companies established in Santiago, in the Maipo Valley. By the end of the 1980s, the producers in Colchagua participated in the Chilean wines exporting boom, introducing the latest technology necessary for the production of world class wines, starting the commercialization and directly exporting their wines to the most demanding international markets.
At the present time, the Valley of Colchagua is leader in the production of fine wines in Chile and is the area with more international projection.
The Museum of Colchagua is a construction of the classic Chilean tradition. It overflows with objects of different nature, from prehistoric pieces of insects conserved in amber to remains of animals of great size, decorations and utensils of primitive settlements in the region and other Latin American regions. There are setup scenarios to travel to the colonial, pre Hispanic and prehistoric past, to imagine our ancestors in varied scenes of their life. There plows also weapons of different cheats, wardrobes, cars, carriages, old agricultural machinery and even a complete steam train that includes locomotive and passengers car, one of the first to arrive in Chile.
The Train of the Wine is the time machine that takes us to a time where the train was the main means of transport, looking for emotions and experiences at the beginning of the 20th century. The journey begins in San Fernando city and takes 90 minutes to arrive in Santa Cruz, skirting the main vineyards of the Valley of Colchagua. During the journey a tasting of wines is served, accompanied by an abundant cocktail, and a great Chilean folklorist delights us with his/her songs and payas.
The Train of the Wine travels at a speed of 30 to 40 km/h. The train is from the beginnings of the 20th century and is formed by a steam locomotive type 57, N°607, (one of the last models built in Chile in the year 1913) fueled mainly by coal, a dining room passengers car, type Y-19 (with capacity for 40 people, built in Germany in the year 1923 for the company Linke Hoffman that arrived in Chile in the year 1929) and three passengers cars, types I-203, I-264 and I-199, with capacity for 80 passengers (built by the same company).
 
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