Hello to all my wino friends out there!
This post is dedicated to my experiences at two very well known wineries here in Chile. Let’s start with a disclaimer. I know very little about wine, in fact, I don’t even like most wine. However, I think it’s classy as heck and you look pretty cool with a glass of wine in your hand rather than a beer, so I’m trying to develop a taste for it. Slowly but surely, I’m starting to not hate wine. Baby steps.
So why go on a wine tour? Well, the main reason is that my best friend was in town and she loves wine. The other reason is that Chile has some of the best wine in the world. So while I may not be a winocerous, but I am interested in learning about why Chile is so well known for their wine.
Our tour company picked us up outside of my apartment in a nice van and drove us off to the first vineyard, Emiliana. Both vineyards we attended are located in the Casablanca valley, a large valley with dozens of wineries scattered throughout. The cool, foggy mornings are ideal for wine making, which explains the large number of wineries in the area.
Emiliana was no exception to the other vineyards I’ve visited, it was just beautiful! The crisp morning air and countryside made us feel cozy and relaxed. We took a tour of the vineyards where we learned about the varying leaf shapes depending on the type of grape and all about Emiliana’s eco-friendly processes.
Emiliana is the first completely organic and biodynamic winery in the world. They were also voted best winery of the year. The company relies on chickens to provide fertilizer and to eat the bugs that feed on the grapes. They also have 25 alpacas that provide fertilizer and trim the grass. They use 7 different natural herbs in the vineyards to assist in the growth processes such as lavender, which attracts ladybugs.
^^ I found this "mobil chicken home" hiliarous. They pack the chickens up and release them in various parts of the vineyard
After the tour, we went on a wine tasting. We got to try 4 different types of Emiliana wines. I liked all of their wines except for one of their cabernets. One family was nice enough to give us some of the chocolate they ordered that was paired with each wine. Man, dark chocolate and wine is something I can get on board with!
Although the wine at Emiliana is nothing to write home about it, I’m a huge fan of their biodynamic processes. I also really enjoyed the animals :P
After the tasting, we headed to this amazing hole-in-the-wall restaurant for lunch. This place was definitely in my top-two best Chilean restaurants I’ve ever been to. The best part was, the owner had adopted all of these stray dogs and let them roam his land. His motto was, if you don’t like my dogs, then go to another restaurant. It was my kind of place. Not only that, but the food was to die for. I had Osso Baco lasagna, which is slow roasted beef. Just thinking about it now makes my mouth water!
After lunch, we headed to Bodegas Re, our second winery. There was a huge difference between the two wineries we visited. Bodegas Re is a family business, currently being owned by the family’s 9th generation. Although small, the company has had tremendous success.
Bodegas Re focuses on experimenting and creating all kinds of new wines and liquors. They use old fashion clay pots and barrels to make their wines and infuse liquors. They’re currently working on creating a balsamic vinaigrette that will have been aged for 25 years. The company has created products by blending different wines such as their Charonnoir or their Pinotel. Bodegas Re has some of the best wines here in Chile. We were even given special treatment and got to try their limited quantity and very expensive wine. We’re talking about $75 USD per bottle.
^^ These rose petals were once a vibrant red color
In the end, I loved the contrast between the two wineries and I learned so much about the winemaking processes. I’m still more of a beer girl, but its nice to know what else is out there!