We spent our last day in Chile touring the southern Colchagua wine valley which is about 100 miles south of Santiago at the foot of the Andes mountains. You can see my introduction to Chile blog posting if you missed it.
We started with a private home tour and tasting at Vina Bisquertt which is one of the oldest families producing wine in Chile. We enjoyed some of their favorite varietals and also were able to secure a bottle of their limited vintage to bring home.
We had a nice lunch in downtown Santa Cruz and then went to a unique private tour of the Viu Manent winery.
Here we rode in a horse drawn carriage around the property to learn of the history and approaches the vineyard uses to maintain their 80-100 year old Cabernet vines. They showed us how they grafted new malbec vines on to older sauvignon blanc vines to accelerate the production and rapid growth of new lines.
The Chileans appear to be experimenting enormously with different techniques and methods to produce the most competitive priced high quality wine to attract the world to their wines. They are very sensitive to how much oak they use and almost spurn the thought of a wine being matured more than 12 months in a barrel.
Last, before heading back to Santiago, we visited the fantastic museum (Museo Colchagua) in Santa Cruz. This was the best museum we have seen in Chile that documented the history of the region all way back to the prehistoric fossils:
…to the modern mine disaster rescue that occurred in Chile a few years ago, It was really a well done exhibit that told the entire story. Highly recommended.
If interested, on another trip, I posted a blog on a visit to a South African winery.