Catemu and Panquehue towns

Catemu in Chile

Catemu in Chile

Catemu and Panquehue is an area of contrast, that combines the landscape of roller – before predominant in the central valley – with fertile fields of vineyards and fruit trees favored by the artificial irrigation. It is a circuit of 138,57 miles roundtrip from Santiago, a stroll to do in autumn or spring.

Take the Pan-American Highway on direction to Laillay, pass through the Tabón, the slope the Chilcas and the valley of Llaillay. In km 88 cross the right to the International road to San Felipe, The Andes and Argentina. Take this route. It will cross the line of the train and will continue upriver by the Aconcagua valley. The first deflection to the right leads to Llaillay, a small town that has 16,215 inhabitants and stands on 1.148,29 feets altitude. Owes its origin to the railway station and three furnaces of copper which previously were active. At the moment its commercial activity is concentrated around the square opposed to the station.

Follow the road to The Andes and in km 93, pass next to Chagres, a small village formed next to the railway station and to the population of the Chilean Tobacco Company that in the past was a great center of tobacco plantation. Today Chagres is known by its refinery, which elaborates copper of the Disputada Las Condes Mine. Its old buildings next to the hill and the modern plant Next to the railroad can be seen.

With a population of 6,706 inhabitants, Catemu valley is an old indigenous establishment that was a great cattle property. In XVIII century it passed at the hands of Don Francisco Garcia Huidobro, retailer, founder of the House of Moneda of Santiago and owner of other properties in Paine and Pirque.

Catemu, located in the central area of Chile

Catemu, located in the central area of Chile

At the top of the valley it is the town of Catemu. Of colorful aspect, its origin is bound to the mining of copper. Today it is an agricultural center. Continue by the road and you contemplate the potreros, surrounded by pircas. Near 1,86 miles ahead, to the right, appear the houses of the Agricultural School Salesiana of the Varillas. The first houses were built towards 1860 by Borja Garcia Huidobro, Its main construction was demolished after the earthquake of 1985 and replaced by a new building that follows the architectonic style of the original one. In this school are elaborated, cheese, butter, honey, wines and other products (can be visited every day of the week, during the day). The entrance is free.

Back return until the highway to San Felipe and advance by this one towards the mountain range crossing an agricultural landscape intensely worked between which several tourist centers with waters slopes and places of picnic are located.

In km 120 it is the Vine Sanchez Loria, founded in 1890, has the oldest planted vines in the valley. It offers wines Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Annoys Harvest and aged wine. Its centennial facilities can be visited knowing the vineyards, warehouses and the traditional process of wine factory.

There are tasting wines in its showroom. The schedule of attention of the showroom is from 8 to 19 hours. For visits previous reservation is recommended.

Errazuriz vineyard in Panquehue, Chile's central valley.

Errazuriz vineyard in Panquehue, Chile's central valley.

In km 124 it is the town of Panquehue. Enter right toward Hacienda Panquehue. A section of 3,11 miles penetrates by the corner to the old property of the colonial family Toro-Mazotte. Towards 1870 it was acquired by Maximiano Errázuriz, a miner of copper and the coal, which planted vines in the valley and led waters for the irrigated land. The vineyards still can be seen in the side hills. It cultivated 800 blocks – it was the greater vine of an individual person in the world that gave fame to the Vine Errázuriz Panquehue. In front of the warehouses is the supervisory houses and the park planted by Errázuriz. Its descendants, the family Chadwick Errázuriz, founded the prestigious Errázuriz Vine, which is part of the Wine day tours in Central Valley, with vineyards here, in the valley of the Maipo and Curicó.

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