Chile is justly famed for its wine, and no Chilean vintage is better known than Concha y Toro. Founded just south of Santiago in 1883 by Don Melchor de Concha y Toro, a politician who was clearly a man of the people, this respected winery now has vineyards all over Chile. The original, with its evocative stone cellars and photogenic fields, is still in Pirque.
Just outside Santiago's spreading city limits, this pastoral spot is the most convenient of all the Chilean vineyards to visit. The tour, available in Spanish, English, and other languages, takes you through the historic old buildings and into the modern era of winemaking, explaining both the science and artistry of the endeavor.
Today, Concha y Toro Winery produces some 20 million cases of excellent wine, most for export. Two glasses are complimentary with your tour, along with traditional tapas. Many more are available in the shop.
Chile's most commercially successful wine producer has several vineyards, but most people visit historic Concha y Toro Winery in Pirque, 27 kilometers (17 miles) south of Santiago de Chile proper.
While most visitors book a day tour, including transport and English-speaking guides, you can do it on your own. Make reservations in advance. If you haven't rented a car, you can take the metro L4 line to Plaza de Puente Alto, from which blue public buses leave for Pirque. Tell the driver to drop you off at the vineyard entrance. Admission includes 2 glasses of wine, a snack, and a complimentary glass.