Chillin’ in Chile

IMG_2735 (1)Italian Grapevine took a vacation, to explore other grape-growing, wine-making terroirs, this time going quite a distance… all the way to the New World!

My trek to the Maipo Valley, so near to Santiago, to visit the Undurraga winery, one of Chile’s most important wine estates, was nothing short of idyllic. And such a welcome!

Bubbles make any day brighter and more fun (especially if the Pinot Noir quotient is high, like 45%). Hearts hanging tastefully from the trees reminded us that this warm, spectacular day was actually St. Valentine’s Day!

So there’s nothing like visiting a winery in late summer, when it’s getting to be harvest time… Love to see the fruit hanging from the vine like that, tanning itself with the last rays before it will express itself in steel, in wood, in cement, and become what we will get to know again in the bottle.

The landscape and the landscaping at this vineyard were both breath-taking. Just take a look for yourselves.

 

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Yours truly, truly enjoying herself

OK, so I had a Sound of Music moment… it’s just the mountains, the colors, the dry air and light breeze… it’s heady, like the delicious, flavorful wines that come from this rich terroir.

My guide was adorable and knowledgeable, and extremely clear, like all the explanations at the Undurraga vineyard. They want to make you feel at home, share their story, their history, their wines. A tasting gave us the chance to sample a delightfully mineral Sauvignon Blanc from the Terroir Hunter line, a scrumptious Carménère (one of those Bordeaux grapes that found a true home in Chile) of the Sibaris line, and a Founder’s Collection Cabernet Sauvignon that made the 12-and-a-half hour flight to Chile worthwhile, before ending with a Late Harvest Reserva Especial made from the Sémillon grape.

Great attention to science and technology, with a very educational approach is the hallmark of this vineyard.

Top notch all the way, take a look at the video that explains about the fascinating Terroir Hunter line of wines. Click that link and be prepared to be amazed! I love to see a big barricaia, or cellar room full of barrique barrels, where the wine is resting, aging to become a better version of itself.

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And what has this grape done for Chilean winemaking? For those of us who adore it, Cabernet Sauvignon is a grape that keeps on giving in Chilean territory…

 

Toward the end of the tour, I viewed a fabulous museum featuring artifacts from local indigenous people and cultures. Part of a successful winery’s strategy should be ‘giving back’, and Undurraga choses to honor history and heritage.

Not only: later that day, as I meandered my way to the top of South America’s tallest skyscraper, the Costanera Tower…

I found a lovely St. Valentine’s Day celebration sponsored by none other than Undurraga!

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A day that begins with bubbly and ends with bubbly is a sparkling St. Valentine’s Day! Muchas gracias Undurraga!

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