A vine old time! Hanging out at La Casona, Matetic Vineyards (near Valparaiso, Chile)…

meaty

Behold the beefy, meaty treat before you… mmmmagical! I can’t even remember exactly what this dish was, but it was flaky and covered in gravy and the sweet potato crispy things were surely crafted on another planet… one of gastronomical greatness (or perhaps just by the awesome Chef Matías Bustos here at La Casona’s restaurant, Equilibrio just 40kms away from Valparaiso). After a few glasses of wine, I do get carried away. But look at this place!

vineyardMatetic Vineyards is an estancia over a hundred years old, located in the Valparaíso Region, just 100 kms away from Santiago in the Valle de Roasario. Having spent the past two or three weeks in the dry, barren Atacama region, seeing green like this set my soul on fire! The wine helped a bit too, obviously. I wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t like wine though. True fact.

ducks

I also wouldn’t be a writer if I didn’t appreciate the soft quack of a passing duck, saying “Becky… One should always be drunk. That’s all that matters… But with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you choose. But get drunk.” (That also could have been a quote by Charles Baudelaire but to be honest, I think it’s way more meaningful coming from a duck). There’s something about fluffy white ducks and duck ponds surrounded by swaying pampas grass (or Fox-tails as my American friend calls them) that reminds me of England.

manwineAfter lunch we were taken ten minutes down the road for our Corralillo tour and tasting, where this very nice man called Jose Ramone told us all about the organic vineyard and the fascinating processes of wine-making, bottling and storage. The action of this year’s harvest happened all around us with the gorgeous valley as a backdrop.

inside

We then got to taste the Corralillo premium line of wines. The 2011 Pinot Noir was my favourite. Here I am enjoying it on a wall… and not posing at all. (That’s my “I’m on a vineyard, look at the wind catch seductively in my clothing” skirt, which I got in Buenos Aires).

meeeYou don’t often get to see the harvesting process, so this was new for me, but as we sipped the last two year’s produce, this year’s was being sorted, crushed and squeezed before our eyes. Very cool to see!

sweep

Another chef by the name of Evelyn Apablaza made us a delicious dinner at La Casona… and then we fell asleep on some clouds, or so it felt like, because the beds here are so soft and billowy you feel a bit like you could slip straight through, back down to Earth. But surrounded by this much beauty, and of course, wine, I hope I never come back down to Earth, quite frankly.

It’s off to the cheese factory later…