Another amazing week lived out here in the beautiful country of Chile & this time, I got to share it with my family! Before they made their way down to me from Santiago, I had a pretty long week at work. Thursday was busy. I topped their barrel fermented Chardonnay in the morning, talked shop & tasted with both the owner, Gabriel & winemaker, Felipe here in the afternoon, then emptied the concrete cube & crushed grapes all the way into the evening. Seriously, most days lately have consisted of waking up with the sun, working hard until 9-10pm, grabbing beers with the guys to end the day & getting as much sleep as I can to do it all again the next day. I love it.
Friday though, was an insane twist of fate. My brother & his girlfriend are travelling around the world as he gets his PhD, but their itinerary has been planned for quite a while. During a few conversations after I learned about this opportunity, we found out I’d be here at the same time as them! Of course, we made plans to make a whole weekend out of it & it’s been my favorite memory so far. I got to work a half-day, then enjoy the rest of the weekend with them.
After a very warm welcome on Friday afternoon, we hopped in the car & headed to our Airbnb in the city of San Fernando. The property was beautiful & even had dogs! That night, we stayed up late talking & sharing a bottle of an amazing Syrah; Can’t say enough about this wine— 100% grown & vinted organic, biodynamic, tastes like it was fermented in concrete, with notes of minerality & soft fruit. After a much-needed night’s rest, we woke up the next morning to freshly made breakfast where we were staying & headed out to stuff ourselves even more at the Food & Wine Festival in the nearby city of Curicó. Throughout the entire venue, live music rang proudly from the main stage as the sizzling smells of irresistible street food & a never-ending array of incredible Chilean wine satisfied all of my other senses. Plus, I was walking side by side with my brother all day. I was on cloud nine. We spent a few hours there enjoying the scenery & even ran into my house-mate! Then, we headed home to share another bottle & get some rest before another fun day.
Believe it or not, Sunday was my favorite day. We woke up to another delicious breakfast, fresh from the garden & headed out to a history museum in the Colchagua Valley. When we first bought tickets, they let us know the $2 fee per person lasted for 24 hours. We were confused, until we walked in. That place was massive! We walked around for hours & there were still exhibits we didn’t even know about. Everything there gave impactful insight into the history of Chile & South America as a whole. Truthfully, the only reason we stopped was because we got too hungry! So, we headed out to our next destination. This restaurant was next level. It reminded me so much of the wineries in Valle de Guadalupe; Beautiful views on every corner, sipping amazing wine, enjoying a meal that you dream about for weeks. I want to go back & order everything on the menu. We had such a good time enjoying each other’s company & stuffing our faces, we missed the cut for the wine tasting we had planned. After we scarfed down dessert, we headed back to the house & had our final night enjoying a bottle & laughing around the couch.
The next morning, we said our sad goodbyes & I got back to work. This week, we’ve been crushing fruit all day, every day. We’ve been having a ton of fun, too! It’s funny; The first couple weeks, I was really trying to feel the vibe & understand their winemaking style before I gave my input, but now we’re actually starting to exchange winemaking ideas. They’re taking my opinion into account as I suggest fermentation techniques, different yeast alternatives & offering equipment expertise I’ve learned from back home.
Yesterday, it really hit me that we’re in the thick of crush out here! The aromas you get during this time of year are unlike anything you’ll smell in a fully fermented wine; fresh baked strawberry pie & banana bread. If you’ve ever been in the back of a winery during harvest, you know what I mean! I realized how much it reminds me of home & how much I’m starting to miss it. That being said, the time is still going by way too fast & there’s so much more to see. I can’t wait to explore it all. Talk to ya next week!