What to do with only day in Santiago? Kathy and I decided the best option was to escape the city of 7 million and head to the country for some wine tasting – what better way to spend a wonderfully sunny 70 degree day! We invited our new Antarctic trip friend, Sam from Virginia, who readily agreed to join our adventure.
Mario, our driver, transported us to Casablanca, about an hour and a half outside the city. Fluent in English and Spanish, Mario was a delight as our chauffeur. We actually thought we were driving in California’s wine country until Mario reminded us that “California is like Chile, not the other way around.”
Our first stop at the Veramonte Vineyard could easily have been our last – fabulous full bodied wines, both whites and reds that tantalized the pallet and encouraged conversation to flow freely. After 2 and a half hours at the vineyard, Mario appeared and asked if we still wanted to visit other wineries and have some lunch….well, of course! So we headed to Casa del Bosque where we tasted fine Chilean cuisine of tapas, beef and octopus, then sampled more wines. However, the unanimous decision was that Casa del Bosque could not hold a candle to Vermonte – we had the best first! With the claim to have the oldest Bordeux starts outside of Europe (circa 130 years), the wines certainly proved it.
So, with one more vineyard to go, and Mario needing to have the car back to Santiago by 7pm, we voted to skip the last vineyard and fondly remember the Veramonte!
A wonderful side point is that the Veramonte Winery is owned by Quintessa Winner in Napa. It just so happens that Quintessa makes one of our favorite wines, Faust. They have just moved to the top of our Napa visit list.
Cheers and happy wines to you.