Isla de Maipo Vendimia Festival
The Vendimia Festival of Isla de Maipo is just 50 minutes south of Santiago, and it is held in Plaza de Armas of Isla de Maipo, home to boutique production vineyards as well as commercial production vineyards such as Tarapacá , Santa Ema, De Martino and Terra Mater. With a population of about 30,000, Isla de Maipo shelters stories dating back to the revolutionary era of Chile, homes with a history of more than 7 generations, as well as hidden culinary treasures that every foodie must discover.
No doubt the Harvest Festival of Isla de Maipo is a Must on your visit to Chile. A real party that attracts thousands of visitors to the town. Along Plaza de Armas and Calle Santelices, you will find local producers of different products such as honey, chocolate, liqueurs, etc., as well as handcrafts, food, artistic presentations, concerts, wine stomping competition and of course lots of Wine!
Dinámica de la Ruta del Vino
In this Festival of the Harvest of the Island of Maipo, the dynamics is similar to the Vendimia of the Casablanca Valley. You buy a ticket that includes the Official Wine glass and 4 tastings on 5000 CLP ($ 7.5 USD) for regular wines and 9000 CLP ($ 14USD) for premium wines. The entrance is free.
Premium wines include not only the Premium wines from the commercial houses, but also the wines from Boutique Vineyards that belong to the Premium category.
TIP! Save yourself the queues and get to know the town of Maipo Island
Now, the queues to buy the glasses + tasting were super long! The trick is, take a Tour around the village with the guys from Destino Isla de Maipo, who will give you a super and entertaining tour of the houses that have more than 7 generations of family history, will take you to discover those local culinary treasures, History of the town And you get the official wine glass plus 3 tastings, so you do not have to make that long queue to buy the glass. Best Value!
The truth is that the guys from @DestinoIslaDeMaipo made it much easier to organize my visit to Maipo Island, since on their page they offered clear information on how to get there, their tour schedules and were very attentive to the messages and questions that I sent through social networks. If it had not been for them, I would probably have given up on going because of the issue of how to get there and who could receive me once I arrived at the Plaza de Armas. Good job!
Isla de Maipo Culinary Treasures
If there is something that I loved about the Island during this Harvest Festival, it was the culinary surprises that I had. If there are 3 things you can not miss eating/try, are the 3 following unforgivable:
- Caramel (Manjar) Homemade Liquor from the Mesa´s House
A secret family recipe protected by the Mesa. Well, I just don´t need to tell you more…. Just Go to the Mesa house and try their spectacular Manjar Liqueur. You will tell me a story after you try it.
Now, this is not the same as Egg Nog or Ron Ponche or “Ron Pon”, as it is called in Chile. Ron Pon has eggs as one of the ingridients, and the recipe and taste is very different from this Manjar liquor. The Egg Nog you can also try is in the Mesa´s House. Also, if you want to try a traditional Chilean liquor, try the Chicha that they make, which is made of grapes.
- The yellow house Cheese and Shrimp Empanada
The Harvest Festival of Isla de Maipo is celebrated along the Santelices Street, which has commercial premises, church and houses at its sides. Just in the middle of the street, I came across a little yellow house that offers its empanadas only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
The cheese empanada with shrimp, fresh from the oven, fresh and crispy shrimp… In my opinion, the best shrimp and cheese empanada you have ever tasted. We were lucky to be able to enjoy it with local wine!
- The best Pino Empanada at the Yellow House Obviously the Pino Empanadas can be found everywhere in Chile. But of all the pino empanadas I’ve tried So far, this has been the best pino empanada I’ve ever tasted. With different levels of flavors, perfect balance where each ingredient stands out by itself and all together… A crunchy and soft dough at the same time … this empanada is a must! Of course I will continue to try more Pino Empanadas, but if you have to make a Top 5 list, this patty will surely stay on the list for a long time.
How to get to Isla de Maipo
Uber $70 USD aprox, one way
Go to the Central Station of Santiago, go to the second floor, look for the sign of Talagante and ask where the bus is taken to Isla de Maipo. There you will be shown the number of the platform where the bus is located. There are departures to Isla de Maipo every 15 minutes. The ticket costs a thousand CLP ($ 1.50USD) and you pay it directly to the driver. If you are traveling for the first time to the Island of Maipo, confidently ask the driver to let you know which stop to get off the bus to go to the Harvest Festival of Maipo Island. The journey takes approximately 70 minutes. And to return to Santiago, just in front of where you got off, you can take the bus back. There are buses going back to Santiago every 15 minutes.