Cutting edge design surrounded by the sprawling vineyards of Chile’s Colchagua Valley
Activity adventure | Food & wine | Relaxation
Rising like a Bond lair from the vined slopes of Chile’s Colchagua Valley, this impressive designer bolthole – formerly known as Lapostolle Residence – certainly wouldn’t be out of place on an episode of Grand Designs. But, fortunately for guests, it’s a team of Relais & Chateaux-trained staff rather than Dr No or a bustling Kevin McCloud who’ll greet you on arrival. Colchagua is among Chile’s most famous wine making regions and, in between tastings and tours, you’ll have the chance to tackle native forest trails and soak in the scenery of one of the country’s true gems. It's also just a 170 km drive southwest of Santiago.
Full of character and inimitable style, its four suites are named after the wines produced on the estate – Merlot, Cabernet, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. Views of the surrounding Apalta vineyards – best enjoyed from private terraces – are framed by immaculate décor of silk, leather and native wood, with individual colour schemes inspired by the grape varieties that give the rooms their names. Inside, guests can relax in a separate sunken seating area surrounded by the latest modern technology including complimentary WiFi, iPod Touch and Nespresso machines.
From classic empanadas and white fish ceviche to braised partridge and king crab cassoulet, dining at Clos Apalta is as enticing as the surrounding regions from where many of the ingredients are sourced. With an emphasis on seasonal, farm-to-fork food – the estancia has its own organic vegetable garden – the menu changes on an almost daily basis and, as you’d expect, each dish has a recommended wine to accompany it.
With winery visits and guided tastings, there’s much to do for the keen oenophile while for those who prefer to get out and about, horse riding and valley mountain biking are among the available options. Further afield, the Colchagua Museum in Santa Cruz is well worth a visit, or perhaps simply relax by the outdoor pool or enjoy a private picnic in the estancia’s vineyard sprawl.
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