Thursday, August 4, 2011

Concha y Toro Vineyard

I can hardly believe it's August! As my friends and family are burning up in over 100 degree weather, I'm shivering in my non-heated apartment next to the a space heater. However, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pretty soon I'll be showing off my sweating armpits and wishing it was cold again. Since arriving in a hot February, I had been told of the horrors of Santiago's winter. Half of me expected to return fingerless to the US after suffering frostbite, especially due to the fact I'm acclimated to Texas weather and central heating. I admit that some nights are pretty darn chilly (no pun intended). HOWEVER, I have not found winter to be the arch nemesis of my existence here. My advise: space heater, scarf, polar-wear, and some true grit. I may be about to go out on a limb, but try to follow me. I think that people (and especially expats) just like to complain and exaggerate. The worst part of winter isn't the cold and lack of heating but the copious amounts of pollution.

Anyway.... WINE.

I woke up at 8am on a Saturday to jump on the metro heading to the outskirts of Santiago to explore Concha y Toro Vineyard (Fact: it is the largest producer of wine in Latin America, thank you educational film). After a taking an unusually expensive colectivo from the Puente Alto stop on the metro, Nate, Tali, Grace, and I arrived at the vineyard. We each paid around $14 for an English tour which included two tasting and a wine glass. Even though we sold out for the English and not Spanish tour, it worked to our advantage in that it was a small, non-intimidating group of other foreigners. The second type of wine we tried was a 1995 vintage from one of their top lines, I do believe. I have to say that this is the most expensive wine I have tried in the my life and will most likely ever try. Unfortunately, I don't have $140 sitting around to spend on one bottle. I'll stick with my $3.50 bottle of Terra Andina Cabernet with twist off lid. I think I could possibly detect hints of cheapness with an underlying aroma of "I'm saving my money for traveling." What a delightful combination!

One final comment before I add the photos of my classy thirty minute wine tour. Grace and I said good bye to our fellow winos (Nate & Tali) last night. Although I am happy for their rekindled adventure in Vietnam, I couldn't help feeling sad as I left them in the taxi while I scurried home at three this morning. On so many occasions, we covered the table in empty wine bottles and cleaned plates while we discussed (usually very loudly) an array of topics from the types of conditionals to the US economy to attempting different accents to rolling hard boiled eggs own Cerro Santa Lucia. Saying good bye is not one of my favorite pastimes. Lamentably, it happens all too often when living abroad. On the bright side, I have quite a few new potential couches to crash on in the near future located around the world.

Tali and I in front of the winery.

Nate and Tali posing in front of the former estate's mansion.

Grace posing in front of the dead (and more expensive) grapes.

Casillero del Diablo

Don't ever doubt how classy I am!

1 comment:

Ceri said...

Haha. Definitely classy, Katie.

*So* many people seem to have visited vinyards and gone on wine tours this year. I'm so jealous.