We finally found a truly boutique winery in the land of Goliaths: the Kingston Family Winery in Casablanca is owned by the 5th generation of Kingstons and currently led by the dynamic great grand daughter of the founder. Courtney Kingston commutes between California and the winery 5 times a year and is in charge of the winery’s distribution in the US where most of its 35,000 bottle production is sold. The wines are only sold online through their wine club and I urge you to consider joining the club; the wines are outstanding- and cost 30% less in the US because exports are not subject to Chile’s 30% taxes. Their Cariblanco 2010 sauvignon blanc was crisp with just the right amount of acidity. With our alfresco lunch we had the Sabino 2012 chardonnay (just 100 cases produced)with a delightful burgundian style and the Tobiano Pinot Noir ’09 (1500 cases) again with beautiful Burgundian dimensions. We also coaxed Courtney to pour her Lucero syrah 2010 (1000 cases) with an pleasant earthiness and black current flavors.
Courtney has been innovative such as the use of cement eggs to ferment wines. Yet she remains true to her ancestors’ farming roots: they have 500 dairy cows, 100 horses and still sell most of their grapes to other winemakers, including Aurelio Montes.
Their American winemaker, Byron Kosuge, commutes several times a year from California. Kingston also belongs to MOVI, (Movimiento Viñateros Independientes) a group of 16 small producers. The wines are shipped to the US in refrigerated containers and the prices are reasonable. Check them out at www.kingstonvineyards.com
We ended a perfect day with a visit to Valparaiso and Pablo Neruda’s home, Chile’sNobel Prize winner.