Concha Y Toro

Trip Start May 18, 2005
Trip End May 18, 2006

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Being wine connoseurs (well, we prefer its effects to the taste) we decided to head to se one of the most famous wineries in South America, Concha y Toro, which was a little south of Santiago. We had booked it a few days earlier to be sure of getting on the Engligh speaking tour. Of course, we arrived fashionably late about 15 minutes into the tour, but we hadn't missed all that much.

We caught up with the group n the vineyard, where we were able to taste the different varieties if grape. The vineyard and the grounds were beautiful. We came in out of the sun onto a veranda for a tasting and the glasses were lined up and filled. It was really nice wine, a 2004 cab sav I believe. We were instructed to hang onto our glasses and were taken inside to one of the cellars to taste yet more wine, which was not yet mature so it tasted awful. The cellar was huge and full of barrells.

But the best part about this place is the 'casillero del diablo' or the devils cave. This is where they keep thier best wines and it is in a natural cave beneath the other cellar. W were escorted down the steps, wine in hand of course into the darkness of the cellar where we were treated to a light and sound show which somehow scared some american tourists half to death. It was about as scary as a glass of milk. Anyway, they explained to us the story of how the cellar got its name. Some bottles (and sometimes even barrells) of wine started to go missing from the cellar, obviously being taken by the workers on the sly. So the owner started to spread a rumour that the devil was seen down there. Of course, being devoute catholics they were all afraid to go anywhere near the cellar so no more wine was ever stolen. Hence the name.

After yet another tasting we were told that we could keep the glasses as a souvnier, which was nice as they had the name of the winery engraved on them. Myself and Aishling then decided in our slight drunkeness to stay for some lunch in the fancy restaurant and have yet more wine. 3 more glasses in fact. And the food was great too. Only problem was that we lost track of the time and the fact that we had to catch a bus to Mendoza in Argentina that afternoon. So we raced to the bus stop, caught a bus into Pirque (the local town) and the hopped on a train to Santiago. We got to the hostel grabbed our backpacks and tried to get a taxi, which of course we couldn't get. When we finally did get one we sped to the bus station, knowing alrady that we wre late to find that the bus to Mendoza had gone without us!! On no!!

So Aishling ran to the desk to get a ticket for the next bus. She was told not to worry and the clerk behind the desk made a couple of quick phonecalls and came around and gestured for her to follow him. She duly did with me in tow (to the surprise and dissappointmen of the clerk) and ended up with him ushering us into a taxi. We had no clue what was going on but decided to go with the flow to see what happened. While in the taxi he tried to explain to us as best he could what was happening, but we just nodded in pretence agreeing with what he was saying. After about 10 minutes we pulled in on the side of a motorway behind a big coach. They had called the driver and asked him to wait for us!! How nice is that? He got a big tip from us anyway.

As happy as we were, the other passengers were not happy at all and gave us peircing looks as we got on. Not that we cared...
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