The Chilean capital, Santiago, is for many international travellers the entry point to South America and the crossroads for hundreds of internal links each week. This includes LAN and code-share partners flights from Australia. A brief stopover is the perfect opportunity to sample some of Chile’s fine wine at source, the vineyards, rather than in the airport lounge. Less than 100kms from the airport lies the sprawling Matetic Winery in the San Antonio Valley, heart of the small but voluptuous Casablanca growing region. You can visit just for tastings but even better is to stay over in one of the seven luxury bedrooms at La Casona, Matetic’s lovingly restored small hotel. La Casona is a traditional colonial estancia that wraps around a huge formal garden. All the bedrooms are ensuite and open onto the vineyard or the wisteria-adorned terrace and intricately designed garden. Relax after your flight lazing around the beautiful swimming pool before taking pre-dinner drinks and canapés in the delightful period decorated lounge. Then dine privately, or in the winery’s nearby lakeside restaurant. The incredibly knowledgeable staff will carefully match wine with your meal (watch out for the divinely peppery Syrah from the EQ range). Wake to views of the vineyards stretching out into the distance and then explore on foot or by horse. Matetic is an easy drive from both Santiago and Valparaiso or arrive in style at its private helicopter pad. www.matetic.com or firstname.lastname@example.org can help organize private South American visits including stopovers.
This article was first published in Travel in The Weekend Australian.