Wine tasting in Chile

This item appears on page 30 of the May 2008 issue.

My wife, Bonita, and I along with another couple in early 2007 booked the trip “Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego & the Chilean Fjords” with Overseas Adventure Travel (Cambridge, MA) for January ’08. Since we all are wine lovers and enjoy Chilean wines, we also booked the pre-trip to Chile. But the pre-trip included only one winery visit, so I worked out several days on our own in Chile to visit more of the wine country.

You can imagine our disappointment when in late October we received notice from OAT that the pre-trip had been canceled. At no additional cost, I was able to work with OAT to fly via Santiago to Buenos Aires, the starting point of the main tour, for a week on our own.

Now what to do with a whole week on our own? To the rescue came the current issue of ITN with an ad from Chilean Special Journeys (Santiago, Chile; phone, toll-free from U.S., 888/345-6077, www. A call to Scott Jones produced a proposed itinerary via e-mail and, with a little tweaking, we agreed to a final itinerary. Claudia Valdivia took care of the details and communicated promptly.

We were met by a great guide, Jamie Sanchez, plus a driver and van. Scott had arranged visits to six wineries that, even if possible on our own, we would have had difficulty doing. We stayed in top hotels whose posted rates would have cost us almost as much as our total tour! In short, we got a great value.

The total cost for guide, driver, van and seven hotel nights was $1,090 per person. Only the cost of our meals was not included.

Without any reservations, we can recommend Chilean Special Journeys.


Pinos Alto, NM