One of the highlights of staying at La Casona (see previous post), is their packages which include various ways to explore their vineyard: Matetic. Instead of your average walk through/sit down wine tour at Matetic you can choose to horse back ride or bike through the vineyard; we chose the bike ride through the various parts of Fundo Rosario through the vineyard. They provide bikes, helmets and water. The biking part of our adventure started at 10am and lasted 2.5 hours (15Km), with a guide who specializes in the area so he was able to tell us the history and point out different things along the way. It was really beautiful, lots of cows, horses and alpacas (super cute), overall not a difficult ride, just the last leg is straight up hill and most people ended up walking their bikes for that part. Check out the view from the top (above).
Once you make it to the top you arrive at the actual Matetic Winery which was founded in 1990. They produce a variety of wines including 4 whites:Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling and Gielonger and 4 reds: Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah on 160 hectares. Their wines are mostly sold in the US and around South America with only 10% staying in chile. The vineyard is 100% organic and biodynamic. The harvest starts mid march a little later then other areas due to the cool climate in the valley. It is extremely impressive to see as all of the work is done by 50 people all by hand. The grapes go through a selection process so only the ‘good ones’ get used; grapes not used for wine will be used for fertilizer. Their reds age in barrels for 12 months while the whites stay in steel tanks for 5-6months before they are ready to bottle; each barrel (above) makes 300 bottles of wine per barrel!! They are currently experimenting making their Chardonnay in big concrete eggs (see below) they aren’t sold yet though. You can read all about their process here.
You finish off your tour with a full tasting, which is the perfect way to cap off the experience! My quick overview of the various Matetic wines: Sauvignon Blanc: very good, refreshing, crisp, Chardonnay: (made in barrels) was actually quite good (I don’t like it normally) but it has a nice oaky flavor. Pinot noir: was very nice, light, and had a nice raspberry/ red fruits flavor to it. Syrah: very good, lots of tannins, smelled of blackberry/current and was a darker color than the rest. Now what you must try is the chocolate shots of wine (yes you are reading that correctly!). As you can see above they had tiny chocolate shot glasses made from very delicious dark chocolate from Ecuador, you get to try the Pinot Noir and Syrah with each of the chocolates, best combination ever! Now I just need to find out how to make those little chocolate cups at home:)
Matetic Wine Cellar: Fundo El Rosario, Lagunillas – Casablanca – Phone: (56-2) 2595 2661
Restaurant: (56 2) 2611 1501
La Casona: Phones (56 2) 2611 1501