Rancagua, Chile, lies well off South America’s well-trod tourist path, some 75 miles south of Chile’s bustling and very chic capital, Santiago. You can get there from here but it takes some doing.
It’s a blue-collar town. Copper mining in the nearby Andean foothills, which rise from the city’s eastern suburbs, and thousands of acres of surrounding vineyards that produce Cabernet, Merlot and Carmenère grapes, which become top-quality wines, support the local economy. Homes are modest, the natives friendly. No Joe Sixpack here: Visitors can expect a bottle or two of very good, locally produced vintages to appear even for a modest lunch, dinner or the “once,” Chileans’ traditional, late-night snack.