The Cousino-Macul Vineyards were an unexpected place to begin the Santiago leg of the trip. It has never been a socially acceptable behavior for me to start drinking at 10am, but this vineyard was exquisite and therefore an exception. The city of Santiago itself is very industrial and polluted. If you are standing in one of the wealthier parts of the city, it could be a city in any part of the world complete with a Starbucks and McDonalds. To travel 20 minutes to the edge of Santiago and tumble out of the bus to such dazzling surroundings is a bit of a shock. Before the tour begins, the smell of damp leaves and aged wood swirls around, reminding you that this is a very different part of Santiago. Cousino-Macul was founded in 1865 and is still run by the same family, who immigrated from Spain a very long time ago. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and very clearly love their job. The tour began with a walk through the historic room which housed wooden casks that would age the wine, easing into a room that houses modern equipment which create the wine we drink today. Following the stairway through a softly lit hallway to the wine tasting room was breathtaking. The wine tasting room uses the stone wall surroundings and incorporates the wood of the casks as the wine is also served on a beautiful wooden table anchored by Cusino-Macul casks, creating a very intimate, relaxed atmosphere. For anyone who has ever been on a vineyard tour and felt that it was an extended sales pitch, this was quite the opposite. Cusino-Macul has been meticulously taken care of and preserved while retaining its historical feel. For the readers who are stateside, one place Cousino-Macul Wine can be found at the DeKalb Farmers Market, outside Atlanta.