Travel Diaries

Chilean Wine Country

Chile’s picturesque wine country is wanderlust-inducing even for the well-seasoned traveler. But while winery-hopping in the Millahue and Colchagua Valleys once meant taking a day trip from Santiago, luxe new lodges in the area now give guests the ability to stay a few nights. Two hours south of Chile’s capital city and a mere half-hour by car from the country’s Pacific coastline, the rolling hills you’ll find here are blanketed in vineyards and dotted with orchards. While away the days touring world-class wineries and tasting Old World blends. Not an oenophile? Don’t worry—outdoor adventurers will be more than content horseback riding, cycling and hiking through the gorgeous countryside.

Vik Chile

Perched on a hilltop in the middle of the 11,000-acre Viña Vik vineyard, Vik Chile is first visible for its Frank Gehry-style bronze-titanium roof, which undulates to reflect the mountainous terrain. This secluded retreat is comprised of 22 uniquely designed, art-filled bungalows. Whether it's a room inspired by Fornasetti or one designed in collaboration with a notable artist, all of the suites feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls that offer panoramic views of the valley and snowdusted Andes Mountains in the distance. Take a dip in the property’s cantilevered infinity pool, spend a day at the Caudalie spa, or never leave your room—suspension-style bathtubs with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape afford the ultimate photo opportunity.

Milla Milla

Vik Chile’s contemporary art-inflected restaurant features farm-to-table cuisine expertly paired with wine from the Viña Vik Winery. Chef Rodrigo Acuña Bravo makes use of local ingredients like figs and tomatoes from the property’s culinary garden, and sea salt sourced from a 400-year-old salt farm nearby. The house specialties? Chilean eel, slowcooked lamb shanks, and wild boar a la plancha—all of which you can learn to recreate at home by joining Bravo for a cooking class. If you’re spending a night in Santiago on your way out of town, check out Restaurante 040. In this intimate basement space, Spanish chef Sergio Barroso serves unique dishes influenced by molecular gastronomy (think sous vide egg yolk with bacon foam on a bed of hay, or Chilean sea urchin with fried chicken skin). After dinner, look for “room number nine,” the rooftop speakeasy accessible via a hidden door.

Clos Apalta

Chile’s Millahue and Colchagua Valleys benefit from a mix of cool Andes Mountain air and a Pacific ocean breeze, making them ideal for the production of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec, Syrah and Carmenere. Down an olive tree-lined road lies what is arguably the region’s most notable winery, Clos Apalta. Here, French owner Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle (heiress to the Grand Marnier fortune) produces award-winning wine in a futuristic facility carved six stories deep into solid granite. Descend the spiral staircase to reach the tasting room, where a giant glass table opens to reveal stairs to the vaults. Afterwards, stop by Viña Viu Manent for a sunset hot-air balloon ride, or head back to Vik Chile and have one of the resort’s huasos (horsemen) give you a carriage tour of Viña Vik’s vineyards. Whatever you do, book in advance—Chilean wineries are quite intimate.