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Published: September 18th 2014
What a fun day!
I must say, today's route to Valle del Maipo left no doubt that I was in Latin America. On the skirts of Santiago, the foliage, architecture, and view in general left no doubt. We drove through an area that reminded of my own home town in Cuba. It was quite warm also.
Our first stop was Vina Aquitania. What a delight! It is named after the Bordeaux region of France because three of the four partners are French wine producers. It is what is called a boutique vineyard due to its small size and the exquisite quality of their wines. Just driving in I knew we were in for a wonderful experience. The driveway leading to the small but perfectly manicured grounds with a beautiful patio of flowers and benches and trees was completely charming.
Laid back and relaxed, we were first shown a bird's eye view of the vineyard from the lovely tower, with the mountains as a perfect frame in the background. We were then shown the different areas and every step of the production, including where two ladies and a man were manually putting the labels on the bottles ready for
shipping. A small production indeed. This vineyard still picks their grapes manually, and every control and every check during the entire production gets the personal touch of the Chilean partner on a daily basis.
We finished the tour sitting on benches on that same lovely patio I had so admired before, and there, under the shade of trees, we were served three of their wines. A Rose, crisp and light and so delicious Patricia bought two bottles; a perfectly ruby red Cabernet with just the right amount of fruit and body, and a delicious Syrah, the first year they made a 100% Syrah, not a blend. If you happen to see any wines from this vineyard, try them, they are worth it!
I think we all could have sat there enjoying a bottle on those beautiful surroundings, but we had a full day so we had to get going to our lunch break, before going on to Concha y Toro.
Our lunch stop was at an out of the way Chilean style restaurant called La Vaquita Echa. It was totally picturesque with stone floors, thatch roofs and strolling typical musicians and a couple of dancers doing traditional
One of their specialties was Pastel de Choclo, which I had been told I needed to try while I was here so I ordered that. It is a sweet corn made into a seasoned cream, and stuffed with meat, chicken, olives, chilies, topped with cheese and baked. It was awesome. I decided to forego the Pisco Sour this time, just to be prudent.
I got the impression the food here was better than the more casual restaurant that we tried the day before in Vina del Mar. Somebody ordered the fish topped with shrimp like mine the day before. Although the sauce was different, surprisingly the shrimp here were huge compared to the small shrimp right on the beach. Hmm. Curious! At Vina del Mar they made a point to let us know all their seafood was completely fresh, so maybe it was just a product of the colder waters. The service was a little slow, but the surroundings were very pretty. It was totally packed!
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