Kasia's trip to Chile - January 2023
5th April 2023
“Back in January 2020, I was the lucky WSET Diploma student to receive an amazing scholarship award which was a study trip to Chile sponsored by Concha y Toro. Unfortunately, due to Covid, the trip had to be postponed but nevertheless, it was so much worth waiting for!
As it was my first visit in South America, I was not sure what to expect. The whole experience and every stop on the way fully surpassed my expectations.
I was warmly welcomed in Santiago de Chile by Konstantino Triantafilo and Pablo Pressac of Concha y Toro who, with a wealth of knowledge, looked after me so well during the entire Chilean visit.
After a tour of Santiago, the first stop on my adventure was Puente Alto with the world renown Almaviva Winery where Alma Brown took me on a trip around the estate with a fabulous tasting of Almaviva and Epu. What a fabulous location with the spectacular backdrop of the Andes mountains and the winery itself honouring the art of Mapuche People, the indigenous inhabitants of Chile.
Next, was a much looked forward visit to Don Melchor where the best Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon comes from. It was fascinating to see the improvements made in the vineyards to battle climate change. The main tasting was held in the famous Casona in Pirque surrounded by wonderful gardens. The highlight of the day was a plot-by-plot tasting of the new 2021 vintage guided by the technical director Enrique Tirado followed by a delicious lunch. Wow, could it get any better than that?!
Not to waste any time, at 7am the following morning we departed for the Limari Province in the north to discover a much cooler wine growing area in Chile. This is where Quebrada Seca´s vineyards of Amelia are located. Amelia Chardonnay has grown in huge popularity with our customers at Dunell’s for its charm and elegance, so I was even more excited to see the place. Marcelo Papa, the oenologist himself looked after us with a thorough exploration of the vineyards and soil diversity followed by a mind-blowing vertical tasting of both Amelia Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Quebrada Seca is a piece of heaven with rolling vineyards, the beautiful mountains and not to forget the Hacienda Santa Cristina where we have stayed overnight. Thank you for your hospitality!!!
Casablanca and Peumo
Casablanca Vineyards were next on the agenda where the gorgeous Lorena Mora makes Terrunyo Sauvignon Blanc. These are delicious, well crafted, flavourful yet elegant wines. From Casablanca we departed towards Peumo with a line-up of some spectacular Carmenere wines including a spectacular Carmin de Peumo and they certainly didn’t disappoint!
I was lucky to not only visit CyT in Chile but the following morning I flew to Argentina over the spectacular Andes to visit Trivento which is located just outside of Mendoza, in Lujan de Cuyo.
I was excited to try the renown Eolo Malbec made from small a small vineyard planted in 1912 on the banks of the Mendoza River. It was fascinating to taste the separate plots of Eolo before the final assemblage was completed. Another fantastic visit and well looked after by the lovely team from Trivento. I will write a separate report for this part of the trip so watch out for that.
Massive thanks to James Hick, Tom Roberts, Pablo, Kontantino and the entire Concha y Toro team who made my trip so mind-blowing. The full experience was out of this world and will never be forgotten.”