A year on the Hill of Corton

Chile again, and meeting Carmenère.

The trouble, I have found with blogging, is that to do it regularly requires time, discipline, and something to post…

Well I have had not enough of the first two and too much of the third.  Just when I think I can take a break and blog a bit, something comes up. You, dear visitor, are only here for the wine stuff and that, we all know, is only part of life. So be prepared for a sunami of posts. Perhaps not all about wine.

First off, if I can remember, is Chile. Its always exciting to get a trip there, especially to Errazuriz who sponsored an award won in 2014. Not only that, there are are always beauty, hospitality, lots going on and great people.

A few days before my return to Chile for Vinedos Chadwick it was terrible to hear about the forest fires that were threatening vineyards and other agriculture there.
I did the haze of smoke even in Santiago and small areas of singed vineyards to the west but my trip was otherwise unaffected.
I was collected at Santiago airport and taken straight off to the coast to document the start of the Aconcagua valley at Vina del Mar. That started with lunch overlooking the Pacific and a bunch of pelicans!

As is often the case its often the photographs you miss that stick in the memory. As Raimundo scoured the streets of Vina del Mar for the restaurant he had been recommended to I spotted a straw-hatted man pushing an old wheelbarrow in the gutter, as we passed I caught sight of what it carried; a large framed portrait of the madonna and child in what seemed like fifty shades of purple !

I did not have the heart to disturb his concentration and ask Raimundo to turn round. And regretted it for quite a while ! He does n’t mind my occasional bouts of extra mural snapping, but not when lunch is overdue.

I rarely talk about the wines I encounter, I have no qualifications to pronounce on things vinous. However… this was my first meeting with Carmenere and I was smitten, much as I was with late picked Sauvignon Blanc last time. While many years devoted to Burgundy have formed my taste, my travels give me the chance to experience other things and that is something we should never stop doing, exploring the wine world. It is growing faster than we can keep up with !

For example, in Uruguay, Bouza’s chardonnay/albarino blend is a New World wine I will look for in future.

Enough chat, let’s have some pictures or I’ll never catch up, the Chile trip was in January!

Straight from the airport to the Pacific and a quick lunch watching the pelicans before exploring the Aconcagua Valley.

Welcome to Aconcagua Costa !

Surprisingly tame horses must belong to someone…

and cattle too.

But not to Francisco Baettig, Errazuriz winemaker.

This fox belongs to no one,
but helps keep down the number of rabbits.

Altogether a beautiful place, rolling hills that give a photographer no time off.

My discovery here this time was the Carmenere.

Next, on to Panquehue and more slopes and friendly faces.

The 19c gate to Errazuriz first estate.

The original building, or what was left after an earthquake. Now a charming visitor centre.

The “new” Icon winery.

Syrah and cactus on the slopes at Panquehue.

Francisco Baettig and Eduardo Chadwick keeping in the shade !

Mai Chadwick

And so to Caliterra for some more shots of Mai and another stunning location.

Is this a vineyard or a zoo !?
An alpaca poses for his/her (I’m not an expert) photograph at Caliterra.

Chile always offers new experiences!

Chileans love horses and my next visit was to Vinedo Chadwick, once the polo field of Eduardo’s father, Alfonso, long time captain of Chile’s national polo team. Eduardo knew this site in the Maipo valley was good for Cabernet Sauvignon and persuaded his father to turn his polo field in a vineyard in 1992.

Alfonso’s goal posts, Eduardo’s Cabernet Sauvignon. The haze on the horizon was the last of the smoke from the fires that hit Chile in January.

Eduardo in the old changing room full of memorabilia,cups and photos.

One corner of the changing room/museum at Vinedo Chadwick

Visitors are provided with a hat.

But not while tasting. Then they had individual spittoons.

Alfonso, polo’s ” poster boy” in the 1950s !

 

 

 

 

 

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