Wine Tasting Chillean Style.

Trip Start Jan 26, 2008
Trip End Sep 28, 2008

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Well the Chilleanīs sure know how to make a wine or two. Dad and I took of the day he got to Santiago and headed to Santa Cruz. The supposed wine making capital of Chile. Had prearranged some accommodation and a wine tour for the next day.

We went out to dinner that night and sat down to some wine and chops. Sound good.... it was.

Forgot to mention that we downloaded a map of the Internet on how to get to our hostal. Not so good when none of the streets are named in situ. So we walked around for about 2 hours being lead up the garden path by every local there. Eventually one local lead us to a church where two missionaries walked us to the accommodation. The only thing they asked for was that they we speak with the missionaries in Australia. No worries mate.

Next day woke early and tried to sort dad out. He had lost his bag. Well I think Qantas actually did. So we had to get them to deliver the bag to Santa Cruz. Tough when you don't speak Spanish and none of the LAN numbers work. Literally none of them worked. So we ended up faxing and emailing the details for the drop of. We received the bag in the middle of the night 7 hrs before we left. Lucky. If we where in any other country in S.America dad could of basically said goodbye to his gear. He should be more careful with his stuff right.

Anyways now the fun stuff. We had our own driver and he left the itinerary to us. So after a bit of discussion we settled on
Via Maunet - one of the oldest in the area.
Montes Alpha - one of the best wines in the area.
Montgrass - one of the newest in the area.
Followed by a more traditional factory or shed which the guide suggested.

All charged about 15 dollars for a tasting of about 4 or five good wines. Didn't really get used to this. Having to pay for the tasting. Anyways the experience was pretty cool. Chillean wineries are top notch. The have spent allot on the buildings them self and have obviously aimed the wine tasting experience in Chile squarely at the upmarket clientele. We paid through the nose for everything.     
Malbec and Camerniere where a few different types of grapes that we tasted. Which really didn't impress dad or I that much. There where a few though.
We where the only ones in most of the wineries visited. Which lead me to wonder why they don't start focusing a tour or two at the backpacker market. Anyways business opportunity for another time.

So the traditional winery deserves a special mention. The place was setup in a shed. dirt floors, using the same machinery that the top notch wineries put on display as antique, all the workers where drunk even the dog. So the place was pretty rustic well very very rustic. Take a look at some of the pictures. Dad refused a gratis or free tasting from the bucket. Literally a bucket. Me, well why not!>

The scenery, weather, wineries, grapes (which dad stole from Manuets 150yr old vine), horse carriage ride, tour actually the whole lot was a great experience. One which Im proud I can say Ive done.

Went back to our hostel to a Bundaberg Rum!!! Tastes even better than I remember. Goof job Dad. Duty Free Grog.
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