A lovely Chilean Gewurztraminer

Gewurztraminer is a funny grape. Usually, I like it in small doses. It can be just a bit too distinctive. But I did once have lunch with someone who was suffering from a Gewurztraminer-induced hangover. Anyway, this is a really good Chilean example of this grape variety. Brilliant balance.

Maiden Flight Gewurztraminer 2010 Casablanca Valley, Chile
13.5% [...]

Santa Carolina's 'icon' Carmenere, 'Herencia'

I’ll have to admit it, but I was slightly disappointed by this wine. It’s Santa Carolina’s icon Carmenere, named Herencia, and it comes in a huge, heavy bottle. It has a price tag to match – £100. But it failed the empty bottle test. I opened it last night with two others, and we had [...]

Video: Veranda's vineyards in Chile's Bio Bio

A short film of the Veranda vineyards in Bio Bio, a cool climate region in the south of Chile. These include a couple of really remarkable new Pinot Noir vineyards. I’ve just written up my visit to Veranda (part of the Dos Andes company) on the main wineanorak site if you want to find out [...]

Wines with Christmas lunch

Just the four of us for Christmas lunch this year. It was delayed: poor behaviour (don’t even ask!) meant that both boys were sent to their rooms, but then they got the message and, after this delay, we managed to eat together. Just two drinking, so it restricted the number of wines. Still, I’m curious, [...]

Another remarkable Chilean vineyard: Tabali's Talinay, in Limari

A short film of another remarkable Chilean vineyard. This time we are in the Limari region, visiting Vina Tabali’s new Talinay vineyard. It’s not far from the coast, so it is a cool, windy site. But its most unusual feature is that it is limestone, which is rare in Chile. The Sauvignon and Pinot Noir [...]

Video: Vina Falernia's spectacular Huerta high-altitude vineyard, Elqui, Chile

In last week’s Chile trip we were lucky to see some incredible vineyards. One of the most spectacular was Vina Falernia’s high altitude Huanta vineyard, at 2000 m. It’s practically in the Andes, at the end of the Elqui Valley, and has some incredible old Pedro Ximenez and Muscat vines. Vina Falernia are planning to [...]

Some thoughts on Chile

I’m now on my way home from what has been one of the most enjoyable and interesting press trips that I have been on. So, stuck here delayed in Buenos Aires, here are some of my random thoughts prompted by the trip.

First, it was fantastic fun. My travelling companions were brilliant. Peter Richards, Chris Losh, [...]

Elqui: visiting the Tololo observatory

On Saturday morning we drove up to the Tololo observatory. Elqui is famous for its clear skies and lack of light pollution – a perfect place for a light telescope, and the Tololo observatory (website here) has a few of them.

The biggest has a mirror shaped like a donut, 4.1 metres in size, and can [...]

Some Chile photographs

Seen some amazing things over the last few days.

A vineyard in Elqui at 2000 metres, in the Andes

The Elqui Valley

Tabali’s amazing new vineyard in Limari, on limestone, near the coast (above), and Vina Leyda’s new vineyards in Leyda (below).

Should new world wineries specialize?

As I write I’m sitting in the lounge of my hotel looking out over the docks of Valparaiso, Chile’s main port, and third largest city. We spent the day at Casa del Bosque in the Casablanca Valley.

Today’s wines prompted some discussion. Should new world wineries specialize? Casa del Bosque make excellent Sauvignon Blanc and Syrah, [...]