Montes is a true Chilean winery success story. Twenty years ago, four partners with little capital and a big dream set out to make premium wines, something unheard of at the time in this country. Today it is one of the best-known premium wines out of Chile in the U.S. (Costco is the biggest buyer of their Alpha wine, for example). Montes struck gold here in the Apalta micro-valley, benefiting from an ideal climate and soil that bestowed the winery with spectacular reds -- particularly their Montes "M," Folly, and the cultish Purple Angel, a carmenère-petit verdot blend. The Apalta valley is more temperate than the rest of the Colchagua valley and produces cabernet sauvignon, syrah, merlot, carmenère, petit verdot, cabernet franc, and mouvedre. The tour of Montes itself is an adventure. Informative and entertaining guides lead guests through the modern winery and its gravity-flow winemaking facilities, and then taken on a tractor ride through the sloping vineyards to an observation deck with a panoramic view, and finally back in the tasting room to try three different wines, including the Alpha ($25/£17 per person). Montes has a botanical trail to a lookout point with sweeping views, which will appeal to visitors who need a little vigorous exercise. For larger parties, Montes can arrange lunch for you.