Our last day was serendipidous. As we traveled back to Santiago from Santa Cruz on another perfect weather day (no rain- all sun- everyday temps in the 80’s/nights in the 60’s), we stopped for lunch at Terramater Winery, and not just for its wines. It was selected by an Italian panel to have the Number 1 olive oil in the world. Of course I had to buy a bottle to add to my collection of 26 wine bottles, an all-time high. Of course I had to schlep all of this back but it’ll be worth it for the two tastings for 12 lucky people.
I came with 1 empty shipping case with the intention of selecting the top 6 Brazilian and 6 Chilean wines of the tours. But I was so impressed by the quality of the wines in Brazil- and their rarity in the States- that I decided to fill the case.
Our tour literally ended on a high note: dinner at the revolving rooftop Giratorio with a gorgeous 360 degree view of Santiago.
Bottom line: Brazil is quickly catching up in quality- and in many cases, has equalled or surpassed the quality levels of Argentina and Chile. The strong hand are their superb sparkling wines followed very closely by outstanding reds. I still wasn’t able to find out why all the winemakers with Italian heritage came from the Veneto area. The top wineries are Valduga, DalPizzol , Miolo and Lidio Carraro, all of which have some presence in the States.
As for Chile, it’s a world-class country all around. And the wines just keep getting better.Picking the top wines is not easy, but I single out the following for all wine lovers: Neyen, Clos Apalta and DeMartino. And our greatest find was Tipaume and although Frenchman Yves Pouzet only produces 5,000 cases (soon to become 10,000), you have a fighting chance of finding some in the States since he has a fondness for the US.
The only drawback is that both countries are a 10+ hour air trip!