Monday, March 03, 2008

a toast

In a few hours my pc will be taken to the ER and will hopefully be shortly returned to me in best shape! In the meantime I thought this blog should do something fun, like ... some wine tasting, why not? One major pleasure in life is to enjoy a good wine. Even better if it is a Chilean wine of course! While in Santiago, Chile, my parents, my sister and I visited a local winery (Concha y Toro) to enjoy a tour and a deligthful wine tasting. This is the entrance.

The garden is another delight and here you see an example of the Chilean palm , not just another palm tree but the country's very own Jubaea chilensis. This species has at times been called the "Incredible Hulk" of the palm world because of its massive diameters that reach to 1.5 meters| 5 feet or more and height that can reach to 30 m| 100 ft. More information here.

We first toured the impressive garden and walked to see the family's old summer residence built in 1875, not an ordinary sommer cottage! The home itself was not part of the tour, only what we could see from the garden.

Chile's climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. The wiki information is here and I was surprised to see they have posted a similar picture to the one I took, which you can see right below.

And then we proceeded to the wine tasting, three different kinds beginning with a white one graciously poured by Maximiliano, our guide. We were quite a few, as you can see from the number of glasses! He used three bottles for each degustation.

In the 19th century the founder of Concha y Toro discovered that his vineyard workers were sampling his greatest wines. To discourage this action, he started to spread the rumor that his deepest, darkest cellar was the Casillero del Diablo (Cellar of the Devil), so that no one would dare go in there. It worked, and a legend was born. Today, this mysterious and legendary cellar continues to hold the finest, estate grown wines of Casillero del Diablo. And it is accordingly decorated, as seen below (click to enlarge):



  1. Hi Mar,

    Those are all good shots and an interesting post. I'm a wine lover myself although I rarely partake these days. I hope the PC work goes well and that it is returned in healthy form. Take care, Carver

  2. Ohhhh what a GREAT tour! I LOVE touring wineries ... this was great fun, Mar!!! I can ALMOST taste the wine... wish I could for real!

  3. What a nice visit this is. So beautiful!

  4. What an interesting and beautiful place ! these trees !
    The quality of your pictures is amazing when I think in which state you were after the wine tests ! Hic, hic !

  5. That looks like so much fun! I've unfortunately never developed a taste for wine...but the tours sound so fabulous.

  6. Ohh Mar; you know we have a lot in common - loving wine is one of them!

    I have tasted some Chilean wine and it was good. Thank you for taking us with to this wonderful yard - for me quite exotic and actually reminded me of a wine yard I was in Australia.

    Btw: Hope your PC is back soon - safe and sound :-)

  7. We toured a winery in California, but we didn't do a tasting - much to my dismay!

  8. I love the idea of the scary cellar to stop people from sipping too much of the produce!

    My last wine tasting was in London a few months ago when a group of about 20 of us had an office visit to a place called Vinopolis which is really a tourist spot on London's South Bank.

    They did a range of wines from different regions and showed us all the fancy ways to look at the gloopiness of the wine on the glass and so forth.


  9. Beautiful photos!! Sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day....sipping wine, my kind of day!

  10. Wine! Yum. I do enjoy a nice Chilean wine ocassionaly. My favorite? Cabs. I've touned 2 wineries, neither had a devil in their cellars! I'm looking forward to Italy in 5 years with my SisterDears. We plan to sip our way across Tuscany!

  11. FABULOUS, Mar! I love seeing so many of the things you saw in Chile, on this trip! Palm Trees...I LOVE THEM!
    I have never visited a winery, but it looks like such fun! We have lots of winery's here in Napa..But I have never been able to get there, for one reason or another....Seeing your pictures, I am so sorry I wasn't able to make that trip....And now....well, no more trips for me.

    I hope the PC Doctors fix your computer in a hurry and perfectly!
    I know you are ready to get your computer back in perfect working order! Prayers are coming your way.

  12. What a fun tour, I don't actually drink but it still looked like fun.I hope your computer is feeling better soon bella !

  13. Beautiful - give me a vineyard tour anyday


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