Chile by the bottle
From LAX, LanChile offers direct (stop, no change of plane) and connecting (stop, change of planes) service, and American, Varig, Copa, United and Mexicana offer connecting service. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $798.
To call the numbers below from the U.S., dial 011 (the international dialing code), 56 (country code for Chile) and the local number.
WHERE TO STAY:
In Chile's wine regions, restaurants are scarce, butmost hotels have restaurants on the premises.
Hotel Montebianco, Isidora Goyenechea, Las Condes, Santiago; 2-233-0427, fax 2-233-0420, http://www.hotelmontebianco.cl . The 33-room hotel is a small, quiet, charming place owned by an Italian, which may be why it feels like an Italian pensione. We were served authentic spaghetti Bolognese. Doubles $88, including breakfast.
Santa Cruz Plaza Hotel, 286 Plaza de Armas, Santa Cruz; 72-821-010, fax 72-823-445, http://www.hotelsantacruzplaza.cl . A tasteful, elegant Spanish colonial-style hotel. Doubles $150. The restaurant serves traditional Chilean dishes such as grilled sea bass and lomo a lo pobre, a steak topped with two fried eggs covered with French fries.
Hotel Casa Real, 0695 Avenida Padre Hurtado, Buin; 2-362-2100, fax 2-821-9767, http://www.santarita.com . On the grounds of the Santa Rita winery. Doubles $220, with breakfast.
WINERIES & TOURS:
Tours of Santiago-area wineries can be arranged through most hotels.
Tours of Colchagua Valley wineries can be arranged through the Santa Cruz Plaza.
Ruta del Viño, Santa Cruz; 72-823-199, http://www.rutadelvino.cl . Works with 14 wineries, including Viña Bisquertt, Viña Laura Hartwig and Viu Manent, and can arrange tours.
GotoLatin Travel S.A., 1954 Alfredo Barros Errazurz, Officina 810 Providencia, Santiago; 2-940-2925, http://www.gotolatin.com . This agency can arrange day trips as well as winery tours. (Ask for Marta.)
Viña Santa Rita, 60 Hendaya, Las Condes, Santiago; 2-362-2000, http://www.santarita.com . Tours free to hotel guests.
Concha y Toro, 210 Virginia Subercaseaux, Santiago; 2-476-5269, fax 2-853-1063, http://www.conchaytoro.com . English tours 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. and noon Saturdays. Fee $6.
Viña Cousiño-Macul, 7100 Avenida Quilin, Peñaolén; 2-351-4135, fax 2-351-4181, http://www.cousinomacul.cl . English and Spanish tours 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays and Spanish-only tours 11 a.m. Saturdays. Fee $6.
Viña Indomita, Ruta 68 (Camino a Vena del Mar), in Casablanca; 32-754-403, http://www.indomita.cl . Fee about $5 per person.
TO LEARN MORE:
Chilean Tourism Promotion Corp., (866) YESCHILE (937-2445), http://www.visitchile.org .
— Ralph Cipriano