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 Horseback Riding
 Skiing in the Andes
 Wine Trails
 Floriculture & Horticulture
 Fly Fishing
 Thoroughbred: Breeding & Racing
 River Rafting
 Sailing in the Southern Pacific
 Scientific Tourism
 The Astronomical Observatories
 Wild Life
 World Heritage City: Valparaíso

Why are Chilean wines getting the headlines in the world market? Why do we find out that these days Chinese, American and British consumers are drinking and paying compliments to Chilean wines? With great confidence, well documented knowledge and plenty of experience, we can tell you why.

Our product Wine Trails of Chile is a comprehensive presentation of the history; the terroire of the different valleys, the winemakers, the properties and the different aspects which allow visitors to share a good glass of wine with a local atmosphere, various small cozy hotels and guest accommodation at the wineries located either facing the Andes or the brisk winds of the Pacific Ocean.

History: First Vines in Chile
The conquest and evangelization of the American continent by the Spaniards in the name of God and the King, gave rise to the need for cultivation of the vine, in order to obtain the sacramental wine necessary for the celebration of the Catholic mass. Fortunately, this need to cultivate was extended democratically to satisfy the palates both of the men of cloth as well as those of our lay ancestors.
There is no existing proof of the presence of the vitis vinifera on the American continent before the arrival of Christopher Columbus on October 12th, 1492. The initial crop of the first seeds of grape and vine shoots brought by the Spaniards, from the Canary Islands it is believed, to the Spanish Antilles, failed because of problems of adaptability to the climatic conditions. Later, in 1531 in Mexico, the first successes were achieved under Hernán Cortés at higher altitudes under more suitable climatic conditions.
By the midst of the XVIth Century, the vine had arrived in Cuzco, Peru, the cultural center of the Andean region and base of operations for the Spanish conquest of the southern cone. Chile and Argentina were the logical destinations for the vines, which accompanied the conquerors.
It is alleged that it was Francisco de Aguirre, one of the contemporaries of the conqueror Pedro de Valdivia, who in 1549 made the historic step of planting vineyards around La Serena and Copiapó, fertile valleys north of Santiago. Other chroniclers attribute this historic achievement to Juan Jufre, who began his viniculture activities in 1553 in the Maule region, near Talca, and later on continued them in Peñalolén in the Andean foothills outside Santiago. Fortunately, this unresolved chronological dispute left the Andean Cordillera and the Pacific Ocean as the great geographical barriers which Mother Nature gave to Chile to protect her vines against the terrible Philoxera disease, the great enemy of the wine industry which made its appearance in Europe in 1863, spreading around the world and wiping out many of the renowned grape plantations.

1883: The French Contribution
The XIXth century was witness not only to the arrival from France of anarchistic ideas of independence, but also to one of the great contributions to the Chilean viticulture and viniculture industries. Fine French grapevine stock and European technicians were imported by wealthy Chilean landowners who were visionary enough to see the need to update their vines with the best the market had to offer at that time. The climate, the soil and the light were the raw materials. They needed to be assisted by an improvement of the vine stock: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc. France and Germany provided these, together with enologists and expertise.

1980: Tradition & Modernity: Oak & Steel
A second revolution was begun in the wine industry in Chile: the technological revolution. Chilean entrepreneurs and experts traveled to Europe —mainly to France and Spain— and the States beginning a process of structural and conceptual change of great magnitude.

Vines & Wines for Professionals and Wine Lovers
The conquest of international markets. The contacts with North American entrepreneurs in Napa and Sonoma Valley in California continued to grow, and have provided the basis for another huge, aggressive change: that of commercialization. The fact that Chilean wine was good was not enough. It was indispensable to make that knowledge widely available on the world market and, to a large extent, through the established channels for international trade. Solitary wine salesmen have little success. The politics of strategic alliances in the fields of investigation, technological development and commercialization is a variable, which Chileans are well aware of and have adopted as their own. Chilean wines have been included in one of the pavilions of the new "wine city" —Vinópolis— to be open on the south bank of the River Thames, in London. This is a place where the old and traditional meets the new and creative. Both —traditional and new— have only one thing in common: they want to be included in this group of the chosen ones, that is, the quality wines.

Professional Delegations
In the introduction of foreign capital and experts, the Spaniard Miguel Torres holds a distinguished place in the process of internationalization of Chilean wines, showing his commitment by establishing a pioneering operation in the valley of Curicó. He has been followed by several of the world's elite: Baron Rothschild from France and Robert Mondavi from California, just to name a few. Steel vats are the latest technological innovation, the new companions to the old romantic oak barrels from Kentucky or France. Varieties under cultivation are: Reds: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot; Whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer. Foreigners have bought vineyards and land, and have invested and formed partnerships with Chilean entrepreneurs. They listen, give advice and do well in this warm country, where conditions for the cultivation of the vine are ideal and, we assume, where they have or hope to have, no small economic recompense.
The volume of wines exported and world market prices of Chilean wines are constantly increasing. Statistics are on the rise and the industry is congratulating itself on these years of bonanza.

Wine Tasting
Wine bars and wine clubs are becoming a positive trend in the choice of cozy restaurants and pubs in areas of Santiago such as El Bosque and Bellavista. They all display a wide variety of Chilean wines both from the more long-established labels as well as from new emerging vineyards.

Wine and Gourmet Gastronomy
The creative fountain pen and imagination of writer Isabel Allende have led Chilean contemporary literature. A must for wine and gourmet lovers is her book on cuisine, "Aphrodite". On the practical side, although Chilean cuisine as such has not yet achieved a definitive reputation, there is an emerging trend of good gastronomic offers. Those initiated in the Art of Cooking can make the most of the extraordinary advantages this country has to offer in terms of raw materials: the best seafood, incomparable, fresh vegetables, fruit and spices are all found in this long narrow country.

We speak of wine culture. It is understood that we are facing one the expressions of an art —the art of making and drinking good wine. Dionisius amongst the Greek gods and Bacchus of the Romans are a light to the lovers of the sacred extract of grape. In South America there exists a handful of poets like Rubén Darío, Pablo Neruda and Jorge Borges, who have written odes and literary notes of thanks to their faithful companion, wine.

Wine tours
Both, in Chile and in Argentina, from half day to 10 days —are our main asset. Ace Turismo has organized trips for American, French and British clients which include University of Bordeaux; Wine Trails of England and American wine lovers. All our itineraries are custom-made, including visits and wine tasting at the most prestigious wineries, both older, established traditional vineyards and small (boutique) wineries.

We organize tours and wine visits to the many different wineries distributed in the Casablanca, Aconcagua, Maipo, Colchagua, Maule, Apalta and other valleys. Our tours are all tailor-made for our clients. Be they enologists, winemakers, sommeliers, wine collectors or members of wine clubs.

This special interest mixes well with:
  • Fly Fishing
  • Gastronomy
  • Golf
  • Opera
  • Skiing in Valle Nevado and Termas de Chillán
  • Soft Adventure
ACE Turismo Chile • Don Carlos 3255-A • Santiago-Chile • Tel: (56 2) 335 6230 • Fax: (56 2) 233 8207 • Email: info@aceturismo.cl