Natural wines

Weekend wine: Wildmakers Sabatico 2014

Weekend wine: Wildmakers Sabatico 2014

Wildmakers Sabatico 2014 is a fresh and fruity eco-friendly red wine well worth checking out.  It’s a blend of Carignan and Grenache made by Catalan winemaker Luca Hogkinson and his Chilean partner, José Miguel Sotomayor. They call themselves Wildmakers because they aim to produce wines that are as natural as possible and that really express the grapes and…

Biodynamic & organic Chilean wine guide

Biodynamic & organic Chilean wine guide

Check out my free, downloadable guide to sustainable winemaking in Chile, featuring details of Chilean organic and biodynamic wineries and why they have opted for environmentally friendly winemaking. Cristóbal Undurraga of Viña Koyle in Alto Colchagua, for instance,  argues that not only is biodynamic viticulture good for the environment, but it also makes sound commercial…

Chile-based British expat Guy Hooper

Chile-based British expat Guy Hooper

Many people have a lawn in their front garden. Chile-based British expat Guy Hooper decided to plant vines instead: 626 of them in a surprisingly compact area, all red varieties: Carménère, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Syrah. When I visited, most of the grapes were going through the magical process of véraison, where they change colour from…

Chilean organic sparkling wine producer

Chilean organic sparkling wine producer

I recently read an article by a woman who argued that starting a business beyond the age of 40 is just too tiring and risky. I was thinking about that as I met Chilean organic sparkling wine producer Daniel Raab, who has bucketloads of entrepreneurial spark despite being a silver-haired grandfather. Let’s face it: whatever…

Sparkling wine tasting panel results

Sparkling wine tasting panel results

A group of 10 people of 6 different nationalities recently got together to blind taste 6 different Brut/Extra Brut wines retailing at under 10,000 Chilean pesos (£10 / US$15) and score them out of 10.  We then calculated the average score for each wine to determine their ranking. Here are the results: All photos courtesy of Alexandra…

Get set for Carménère Day

Get set for Carménère Day

This Monday, 23 November, is Carménère Day, which sounds like a great excuse for a party! So why not get ahead and celebrate the weekend with a glass or two of this very quaffable red? This deep-coloured red wine pairs well with any red meat dish, including casseroles and barbecues, as well as spicy food, like…

Cristóbal Undurraga: biodynamic winemaker

Cristóbal Undurraga: biodynamic winemaker

Disarmingly informal, Cristóbal Undurraga, fifth generation of one of Chile’s oldest wine-producing families, takes Alexandra and I on a walk up the little ravine he has lovingly restored in the heart of Koyle’s biodynamic Los Lingues vineyard in Alto Colchagua. “It was full of mud when we arrived,” he explains, “but we cleared it…

Chilean chips and sparkling wine

Chilean chips and sparkling wine

Feel like it’s time to relax and let the worries of the week wash away with good conversation, good wine and good food? Here is a nice, easy recipe if you are looking for inspiration. I love to use the fabulous purple, blue and stripey potatoes from Chiloé, an island just off the coast…