Wine Trip to Chile

Chilean Wine Trip 2015


Ok, so it isn’t straightforward flying to Chile, there are no direct flights from the UK, so in the end we chose an evening hop over to Madrid followed by a fantastic Albarino (Mar de Frades, in a stylish blue bottle – will get some in!) in the Iberia club lounge and then the overnight flight arriving in Santiago around 9ish in the morning…

Santiago was hot and dry and exciting, from the Central Fish Market and restaurant with its bite-size empanada’s and cold beer to enliven us through to a visit to La Piojera, one of the city’s oldest picas (dive bars) for a traditional drink made with pineapple ice-cream, pipeño (a sweet white wine), and sometimes fernet (a bitter) it is more like a wine shake than anything else… reported to shake your socks off hence the name ‘terremoto’ which means earthquake.. The wife left the bar with her socks in her handbag!

Prior to heading to Chile I had already become accustomed to the wines of Vina Errázuriz both in terms of taste, (we have previously offered their Aconcagua Costa Sauvignon Blanc ), but also from the press and the famous 2004 Berlin tasting where Vina Errázuriz wines were pitted against some of the most iconic and best regarded wines in the world, Vina Errázuriz wines secured 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th and 9th places… incredible achievement…. Given that vintages of Chateau Margaux and Chateau Latour were also in the tasting….

On hearing that we were off to Chile, Vina Errázuriz kindly invited us for a tour of their beautiful vineyards and wineries both old and new, plus an exquisite lunch and of course a tasting… hour and a half north of Santiago is Panquhue, nestling in the Aconcagua Valley, here one finds Vina Errazuriz.


The setting is simply stunning….mountains…palm tress…a wonderfully hot day….and a wonderfully cool cellar….a perfect marriage of tradition and innovation between the historical winery and the new architecturally stunning winery matched only by the sumptuous lunch and fantastic wine led me to offering my son as husband to any of the families daughters…or wives or grandmothers…

There is an unmistakable link between wine and food in Chile, just as it should be, and whether you are eating ‘empanada’s’ with ‘pebre’ (a Chilean chilli salsa that they eat with most things) at 10 in the morning, or at a planned wine tasting, food is ever present.

Consequently, the next day we found ourselves conveniently at lunch-time in the Casablanca Valley at the House of Morande, sitting in their gastronomic restaurant (attached to a delightful boutique of all things wine and food) for a wonderful multi-course affair accompanied by several glasses of their beautiful wines. Including some of the best tasting and best valued Sauvignon Blancs and Carmenere’s we had tasted in Chile and the first non-burgundian Pinot Noir I have really liked.

On my return to the UK, I tracked down their importer and low behold we now stock them….I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

After our 3-4 day wine trip we were lucky enough to sail down to southern Chile and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery and welcoming people one could hope to see and meet. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, grab it with both hands and drink it in. Life is good and we were spoilt.

If you don’t…then fear not, some of the best that Chilean wines have to offer are here, just for you..

“From the best land, the best wine.” Don Maximiano (Errazuriz)

“and who am I to disagree”… me (well and Annie Lennox)

David Vernau

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