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Published: December 10th 2014
The depot for the company conducting the tour, Turistik.
Once again, we contracted Turistik to be our ride to the vineyard. In this occasion, the main body of the people accompanying us were Brazilians, some of whom had chosen to do a bike ride in the area, and were staying for the night.
Our guide to the vineyard, Daniel, was very informative and kept us entertained with the back story of the location, going back to 1814 when 120 survivors of a disastrous battle between the Chilean patriots and the Spanish army arrived at the property, then owned by Paula Jaraquemada, and found refuge in her cellar, where she aided them, looked after their wounds, fed them, and hid them from the Spaniards until they could continue on their way and eventually rejoin the rebels.
The house continues to be a historical monument, and the fabled cellars now house the thousands of bottles kept for quality comparison of the wines, as well as serving as a tasting room for groups like ours.
One highlight was a visit to Casillero Cal y Sal, going back to the establishment of the vineyard, and deep under ground. It was badly damaged during the deadly earthquake of 2010, and is now
Driving through some colorful neighborhoods.
kept as another national monument, and no longer is in use. Two of the pillars collapsed and have been fixed with cement basis. The small windows are the gauge to where the ground level is.
Above ground, the corridor facing the beautiful gardens also serves as a tasting area, and some of the food being served with the wines looked very appetizing.
It was fun to see that they had one of those mobile cycling bars on the premises and, as we were leaving, a coach pulled by two horses was waiting, no doubt to provide an unforgettable ride through the vineyards for some lucky people.
The day was cold and overcast, so the beautiful background of the mountains was not as visible as I would have liked, but it was still a pleasure to visit some of the vines, with the customary rose bushes to give forewarnings of any possible infections, and see the patio where the different samples of the varietals are displayed. The antiquity of the grounds could be told by the enormous flowering bushes of bougainvillea that adorned several of the areas.
Our guide at the vineyard, also Daniel, was a very
fun and jovial guy and we were also accompanied by a trainee, Claudia, who merely observed.
This production was a lot larger than Metatic, and we visited several cellars with their long lines of barrels. Here the traditional method of using the barrels only three years, according to the category of the wine, is observed.
The tasting was only of three wines, unfortunately, but the quality was very good, and two of the red wines were of the same varietal, but aged one in French Oak, and one in American Oak, for us to discern the different qualities produced by the different woods.
All in all, I truly enjoyed the visit, and would love to go back and enjoy some of the other wines in that beautiful setting by the patio, and perhaps take a ride on that horse pulled carriage.
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