Matetic Vineyards, Chile
Driving down a long dirt road surrounded by 27,000 acres of vineyards and beautifully landscaped gardens, I think that I may have discovered one of Chile’s best-kept secrets. La Casona Guesthouse at the famous Matetic Vineyards is the ultimate wine aficionado’s dream. Located in the Casablanca Valley, about an hour and a half from Santiago, La Casona offers the perfect place for indulgent relaxation. Built in the early 1900s, it consists of only seven rooms, each affectionately named after a type of wine. Every room is handsomely fitted with polished original hardwood floors, black and white tiling and plush bedding, with its own private terrace overlooking the perfectly manicured gardens. While the guesthouse is over 100 years old, the rooms were all completely remodeled and redecorated in 2004.
Matetic Vineyards produces award-winning, organic wines and in 2006 produced a Syrah that was named one of the world’s top 100 wines by Wine Spectator magazine. A wine tour and tasting is included in the stay. Guests can view the entire winemaking process from learning about the complexities involved in organic winemaking, the bottling and storage process and, of course, tasting the vineyard’s most famous wines – Syrah, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay.
After the tasting guests can relax in a plush bed by the outdoor pool surrounded by the story book gardens, spend some time in the reading room or shoot a little pool in the game room while sipping some of the hotel’s brandy. The next day guests can ride a bike, hike, or go horseback riding through the Matetic family’s 100 year old farmlands, passing sheep and llamas while exploring the valleys, mountains, hilltops, ravines, and river beds found throughout the property. La Casona seeks to connect the visitor with nature, and after spending some time there, I hope that more vineyards around the world will embrace this principle.
Daily rates include breakfast and lunch or dinner and each meal is more beautifully prepared than the one before it. Served in the century old dining room, a casual buffet breakfast consists of fresh juices, homemade breads and pastries, and assorted cheeses made from the milk of the many sheep often seen roving the property. Lunch and dinner are main attractions and are served in the private, gourmet restaurant on the property, Equilibro. The octagon shaped restaurant serves Chilean cuisine and is set on a pristine lake with floor to ceiling windows allowing guests to watch the show of geese gliding by. Lunches and dinners are luxurious affairs consisting of three to four courses prepared with locally grown ingredients, each perfectly paired with a Matetic wine.
A visit to La Casona and the Matetic Vineyards is a magical one that defies convention and brings a new perspective to luxury travel.
*Rates include breakfast, and lunch or dinner, a wine tour, and horseback riding. *Reservations are required 24 hours in advance.
Fundo Rosario Lagunillas Casablanca, Chile
56 2 585 8197