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Santa Cruz – Wine Country

January 6, 2011 by Chelsea Slone

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Our trip to Santa Cruz, Chile got off to a bit of a rough start. After two hours of trying to find our rental car company, we finally got the car and jumped in anxious to head out of the city. If only it would have been that easy… Reverse didn’t seem to be a functioning gear for our stick shift vehicle. Tyler didn’t think this was quite as funny as I did while he pushed the car out of the parking spot. (Ok, we got the car going forward, we’re good to go!) Well, as we try to exit the airport they tell us the ticket the rent-a-car company gave us wasn’t valid for exit and we needed to REVERSE out to get another one. Did I mention no one spoke the slightest bit of english? So, by the time we finally understood what they were telling us to do you can only imagine the extensive line of cars piled in behind us trying to exit as well. I still found this way more hilarious than did Tyler… Maybe because I wasn’t the driving the car! Thankfully two young girls came from nowhere and kindly offered to run back to the front and show us where to find another ticket allowing us to finally be on our way to wine country.

The drive from Santiago to Santa Cruz was so beautiful we quickly forgot all of the madness we encountered within a couple of minutes. As we drove through the vineyards of Colchagua Valley into the little town of Santa Cruz and arrived at the tiny bed and breakfast where we were staying, we felt as if we had traveled back a century in time. The town had nothing but mom and pop stores, and a couple of restaurants at most. It was simply a quaint little town filled with nothing but hospitality, breathtaking vineyards, and of course incredible wine.

The next morning we woke up early not to miss the latter portion of this B&B. As we walked down the stairs there was a oversized dinner table arranged with only two place settings and fresh local cheese, juice, jam, fruit and homemade short bread. While everyone else had their breakfast in bed, we were so delighted by the presentation, we chose breakfast in the dining room both mornings of our stay. It was such a treat and a perfect start to the day.

After breakfast we got ready to head out to the vineyards of Lapostolle and Clos Apalta. This winery was one of the few ones in this area hardly affected the slightest bit by the earthquake disaster last February. Many businesses and wineries were hit hard and some still unable to recover, Lapostolle was extremely fortunate! Lapostolle is a French influenced Chilean winery. It was founded in 1994 by the founder and owner of Grand Marnier, Alexandra Marnier-Lapostolle. She originally became interested in Chile due to the diverse climates of the country. With the variations of climates and soil she has been able to produce many different grape varieties. We were definitely able to taste the difference in the wine from this vineyards compared to wines we normally drink from France, Italy and California.

To begin our visit we were given a tour of the winery, which had a very impressive modern architectural design. The tasting room had a single long black glass tasting table with barrels of wine outlining the rest of the room. When you looked down into the black glass you could see a staircase leading down to the owners extensive wine collection. The only way to go down into the cellar was through a locked switch which could be turned to extract the glass table allowing access to the staircase. It is not open to be public, but it appeared to be the most gorgeous cellar we had ever seen. Following the tour we were taken to taste seven different wines produced within the winery. Most of the wines we tasted were yet to hit the market, but were exceptional to drink. Immediately after the tasting we were served an incredible five course chilean prepared lunch. As much as we wanted a nap we couldn’t pass up a walk through the vineyards. So we drank our espresso and headed out to the vineyards to compete our amazing experience in Colchagua Valley.

Don’t forget about our newly post pictures … Santa Cruz Pictures Here

Chao,

T+C

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