A horse-drawn carriage tour of a winery

Hidden down a dusty little lane in Santa Cruz stands a grand, white colonial style mansion. And beyond its imposing, iron portcullis lies Viu Manent winery, which a couple of months ago I toured by horse-drawn carriage.

Now in full quarantine lockdown here in Santiago, Chile’s wine region feels like a world away. But Santa Cruz is just a couple of hours from my home in the capital.

Don’t travel to Chile right now, but when the pandemic is over, put Viu Manent winery on your post coronavirus bucket list.

Viu Manent horse drawn carriage tour

Viu Manent horse drawn carriage tour

I’d taken my mum and the kids, so of course it had to be educational. My children might just be the best wine experts under six years of age.

We stopped off to learn all about the processes for making ‘Mummy’s favourite drink’.

how to make wine diagram

The older I get and the more babies I have, the more I appreciate (OK, need) wine. This tour of the Viu Manent vineyard included a stop off at the cellars for a tasting.

Santa Cruz wine tasting

Viu Manent cellars

Viu Manent tasting

I very, very much liked the contents of this bottle.

Viu Manent Syrah

Then we headed back to the vines for a little stroll and some sneaky grape eating.

Viu Manent horse and carriage

Viu Manent with children

Viu Manent gardens

Annabelle spied a playground, so we stopped for a play there, too.

Santa Cruz winery play area

child playing in veinyard

Viu Manent vineyard

You can book horse rides and riding lessons in the equestrian centre, but even by Chilean standards it was a scorcher of a day.

We spent the afternoon cooling down in the shade of the courtyard and restaurant.

Viu Manent, Santa Cruz, Chile

Viu Manent restaurant

Then as the sun began to sink in the sky, we bid goodbye to Viu Manent.

Viu Manent vineyards

Viu Manent building

The Viu Manent horse-drawn carriage tour is available in English and Spanish, from Monday to Sunday at 10:30, 12:00, 15:00 and 16:30 hours and costs $17,000 CLP for adults, and $8,500 CLP for children and seniors.

For horse lovers, there is also the possibility to book guided horse rides and lessons in the Viu Manent equestrian centre. A guided horse trek costs $30,000 CLP per person, or $43,000 CLP per person with a picnic. To book visit viumanent.cl

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