REFLECTIONS ON A VIRTUAL TRIP TO CHILE, BY MANDY SANCHEZ
Among beverage professionals, Chile is known to be a true gem. The region has an extensive viticultural and vinicultural history dating back at least 500 years. It is easy to marvel at such a picturesque country such as Chile with its mountains, steep slopes, and coastal influences. Travel plans have been altered for the time being and while I’m not able to set foot in Chile, SommGeo has provided me with the means to “travel” to several vineyards. This gave me a serious case of wanderlust. Trip to Chile in 2021/2022 anyone?
Now on to the resources-SommGeo is an interactive tool that was created by the SommFoundation to help professionals further their education. The foundation’s commitment to beverage professionals is commendable. Through its resources, the foundation helps transport and connect us to a region by providing context/pictures from vineyards as well as history on winemaking in the region. I like to call SommGeo a “tour guide” and when I accessed it, I was able to envision myself being in the vineyards of Chile. Truthfully, all pictures were just breathtaking but those that remained with me are the D.O. Atacama and La Robleria.
The D.O. Atacama, located in the Huasco Valley, is known for its salt flatlands and desert like conditions. And although we often associate deserts with scorching temperatures, this is not the case as it is dry and it barely rains here. The producer highlighted for this seminar, Ventisquero, mentioned that they were one of the first to produce still wines here. The Tara Chardonnay, a still wine originating from Atacama, is a perfect accompaniment to oysters and fish. The wine has notes of peach, papaya, melons, saline, citrus, and yogurt. This is one I will definitely keep in my back pocket for personal consumption and client recommendations. It is one of the best renditions of Chardonnay I’ve had to date.
La Robleria, located in Colchagua Valley, enjoys a more coastal climate with the effects of the Pacific Ocean and Andes Mountains playing a significant role. The most beautiful thing about his vineyard is the steep incline. Its Obliqua Carmenere, a cellar worthy red, has notes reminiscent of smoke, dark plum, earth, bell peppers, and red fruits. I’m certainly not one to shy away from reds and I was excited about how elegant and expressive this wine was.
This virtual trip provided me with a sneak peak of Ventisquero and Chile and I’d like to thank the SommFoundation for this opportunity. Now on to daydreaming about Chile.