Syrah wine

10 of Chile’s top red wine varieties

10 of Chile’s top red wine varieties

Chile is now the world’s fourth biggest exporter of bottled wine and its wine industry is more dynamic and varied than ever before. Winemakers are now producing dry and sweet, still and sparkling, white, rosé, red and even the odd amber-coloured wine from more than 70 different varieties. However, red wines are still very…

Blind tasting Chilean red wines

Blind tasting Chilean red wines

I’ve set myself the challenge over the next few weeks of blind tasting the most common types of Chilean red wine until I can tell them apart in a blind tasting. I’m doing this to become a better wine professional and also to help me pass the terrifying WSET diploma exam when I’ll have to…

Talking volcanic wine with Ben Gordon

Talking volcanic wine with Ben Gordon

The setting sun was casting an orange glow as I met with Ben Gordon outside a café in the Las Condes business district of Santiago. An affable British expat, he has been Managing Director of Bodega Volcanes de Chile since January and I asked him how it was going. “Really well so far,” he…

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…

Casablanca winery visits: Quintay

Casablanca winery visits: Quintay

Welcome to the latest in my series of Casablanca winery visits: Quintay is a small, state-of-the-art winery with a modern, sleek design. It offers a personalized approach to each customer with services ranging from a lunch and cocktail menu to tours of the winery, with a tasting of their Reserva and Gran Reserva lines, to tours on horseback or even tours…

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…