Sunday, March 8, 2015

The COLCHAGUA VALLEY WINE FESTIVAL- aka heaven on earth for 5500 pesos

We arrived bright and early in Santa Cruz, Chile after a 3 hour bus ride from Santiago with a lovely "for peeing only" bathroom and a realization that in the south charter buses often become taxis for the locals. We stopped maybe 8 times to pick up a few straggles and then let them loose shortly after but nevertheless we made just in time to buy our copa oficial (my first ever wine glass! success) which included four wine tastes. And while that was certainly enough for me, I seemed to be the odd one out when the rest of mis amigos went for 8 glasses (oye dios). Spoiler alert- no one missed the bus, but there were some wine spills and tipsy purchases :0
Anywho, I started off strong with a nice red wine, a Merlot from a winery that I believe was owned by Lapostolle (I didn't bother remembering the names of all the ones I tried but upon looking at my program that one looks vaguely 
And of course, to ensure that no one got schwasty too quickly, we accompanied our first glasses of wine with a nice stick of meat(: I went for the pork, but they had beef, lamb and chicken wings all on a stick for a mere 2 dollah. The afternoon went by quickly with 3 more wine tastings of a Chardonnay, a Syrah and a Sauvignon Blanc (very tasty here and much less sweet than at home!). I also had many a tastes of some other wines including some incredible reds from Louis Felipe Edwards winery (both the Carmere and Cabernet Sauvignon). 
I learned that the grape of Carmere was once a popular French grape that apparently died out in France. At first everyone thought they had lost their precious Carmere grapes forever, but coincidentally it was discovered that the same grape had been growing for years in Chile under a different alias and thus, Chile became the sole producer of the lovely and light red wine of Carmere. 
I wanna say that my Syrah was from Santa Rita (but that is probably wrong..) and that my Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc was from Casa Silva (I am more certain about this one). But hey, give me some credit because I did write down the names of them on my ticket but then my ticket got taken when I tried my last glass of wine, and tipsy me didn't notice til it was too worries though, I don't think I've tried a bad wine yet here. For what it's worth I couldn't drink a whole lot of Carmere but I've heard it's better with food!
Other highlights from the festival included my slightly tipsy shopping which led me to try on about 3 headbands and 2 scrunchies, therefore guilt tripping me into buying a cute coral headband (hey no regrets!) made by someone in prison...a good cause, no? Additionally I had some really good 'banana split' ice cream and a few bites of a delicious empanada that had crab (interesting but good!)- called Empanada de jaiba. 

We grabbed the 7:30 bus back, and luckily no one was left behind. We did have two red wine stains on two lovely dresses, but it really could have been worse(; 

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