Blog: Chile with Concha y Toro - Day I
Olly Wehring | 19 January 2015
Buenas dias from Chile. I'm here as a guest of the UK arm of Concha y Toro for the week, during which I'll be shown the company's wine-making operations not only here but over the border in Argentina.
The overnight flight from London (via Paris - 14 hours) got us to Santiago this morning. Much as the country is approaching the height of its summer, we landed to an overcast sky and 16°C. Warmer weather is forecast for later this week.
Having checked in to our hotel in the capital, and after a spot of lunch, our first port of call was the Matetic vineyard in the Rosario Valley – part of the San Antonio Valley appelation. Hats off to Concha y Toro for taking us there: Matetic is a small, family-owned wine company with no links to the country's biggest wine producer. As our CyT host said: “It would be blinkered to think that people coming to Chile would want to visit only CyT's facilities.”
Located about 19km from the Pacific Ocean, Matetic produces biodynamic wines from its four properties in the valley. With 160 hectares planted to vines and export volumes of around 40,000 cases per year, the company served as a welcome – albeit niche – introduction to Chile's wine industry.
After a brief stroll through the vines, we repaired to the winery proper.
A tour of the facility was followed by a tasting of the company's wares. Now, I'm not the greatest fan of wine tastings, mainly because they show me up to be the wine philistine I truly am. That, and I'd rather speak to the export manager about main markets, future plans and perils and pitfalls. But, brave the wines I did, daring even to profer my limited opinions on the company's range.
The highlight? Corellio Winemaker's Blend, which retails in the UK at around GBP16 (US$24) per bottle.
The other highlight? Returning to our car to find the battery was dead.
We're heading back to Santiago now, where dinner and a battle with jetlag awaits.
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