Lapostolle Winery is built into a rocky mountainside and consists of multiple floors. The wine making process begins on the top floor and each successive stage winds its way to the bottom floor, meaning only gravity is needed to transport the grapes from pressing and fermentation to barreling and bottling.
Lapostolle is beautiful. The architecture of all the places we’ve visited has been quite elegant, however they were all traditional. Lapostolle on the other hand has a sleek, modern design. Many natural elements and organic shapes have been incorporated into the winery’s design so although modern, it blends into the landscape.
Lapostolle has a breathtaking view of the Colchagua valley. After taking a long horseback ride through the vines, we sat outside on a porch overlooking a gorgeous green vista. It was a little slice of heaven.
For those of you not on Twitter, here are a few of my tweets from the week so you can see what I’ve been up to.
The Packing Debate http://ow.ly/1ra8Di 10/16/10
Feasting at Santiago’s Mercado Central http://ow.ly/2URb5 10/17/10
Beautiful day in Santiago. Could actually see the snow capped mountains in the distance. Saw lots of sites, now off to dinner. 10/17/10
Good morning from Santiago. Lovely view from the top of the hotel. http://ow.ly/i/4FW9 10/18/10
Fabulous lunch at Casa Silva Winery in Colchagua #Chile http://ow.ly/i/4GrD 10/18/10
Learning to make typical Chilean dishes at Hotel Santa Cruz (@ Hotel Santa Cruz) http://4sq.com/dvYO6m 10/19/10
Santa Cruz sunset over the Colchagua Valley http://ow.ly/i/4HX2 10/19/10
Enjoying a post-lunch cortado out on the terrace http://ow.ly/i/4I7o The weather in Santa Cruz is perfect 10/20/10
This might be paradise http://ow.ly/i/4K0O 10/20/10
Wine tourism in Chile goes beyond the vine. Biking, trekking, horseback riding, cooking classes are all part of the experience 10/21/10
Lapostolle Winery in Colchagua uses gravity not machinery to make their wine. Super eco & super chic #Chile @drinkchile http://ow.ly/i/4LOM
My first day in Chile was spent in the capital of Santiago, but come morning we were headed for wine country. Our destination, Colchagua. Located just a few short hours outside the city, Colchagua is a sprawling expanse of mountains and hills lined with row after row of grape vines.
Our first stop was Casa Silva, a family owned and operated winery, and it is one of the oldest and most successful cellars in Colchagua. I understand why our guide decided to use Casa Silva as our initial introduction to the wine region, because it’s wine business done right: professional, traditional, and familial.
Although the sight of hundreds of fermenting wine barrels and massive stainless steel tanks is impressive, wine tourism (I would come to learn) here at Casa Silva and throughout the Colchagua Valley is about more than just the wine. For example, our tour that day concluded with an authentic Chilean rodeo demonstration.
And don’t forget about the food. Because what would a wine tour be without a fabulous lunch? An elegantly set table alongside the vineyard’s polo grounds, was ready to receive us. The mountains in the background and a light breeze blowing, we raised our glasses to toast the beautiful food, the beautiful wine, and beautiful Colchagua.
I was warned to be very cautious when consuming seafood in Chile, so when visiting the Mercado Central-- a bustling fresh seafood market in Santiago-- and you can’t help but have a big seafood lunch, it’s wise to choose the oldest and perhaps most well-known eating establishment. Donde Augusto is located in the center of the Mercado Central, a 1872 structure designed by Gustave Eiffel (yup that Eiffel). Although prices here will run a bit higher than some of the market’s smaller cafes, it’s worth knowing you won’t be losing your lunch later.
Augusto, the jovial, eponymous owner of the restaurant has been working at the Mercado Central for 56 years. Beginning at the age of nine and spending the first 30 years as a fruit and vegetable vendor, he’s spent the last 26 operating his restaurant at the market and expanding to various other locations throughout the city.
“I started with fourteen tables. Now I have 2,000. I began with seven employees. Now I have 200. I started with one wife and I still have the same wife,” he laughs. But this is no joke, his wife still commands Donde Augusto’s kitchen while he mingles in the front of house.
Steaming plates of food whisked around the crowded tables. Our lunch was a buffet of delectable seafood dishes: chilled ceviche, steamed king crab, razor scallops with melted parmesan, oysters, and some of the best grilled shrimp I’ve ever tasted. All was washed down with a strong pisco sour-- the drink of Chile-- and a local cerveza, a delightful pale ale with lots of flavor.
Next came a plate of different types of grilled fish: salmon, sea bass, and conger eel. Augusto says the dish of the house is the congrio or conger eel, and it’s hard not to agree. Grilled to perfection in a butter sauce, the fish melts in your mouth. One word of advice if you decide to stroll and eat at the Mercado Central: eat first, stroll later. I don’t think I would have sampled the conger eel if prior to the meal I’d seen the long, splotchy pink fish giving me a blank stare from a bed of ice.
Donde Augusto is a great place to sample local color and local cuisine. Too full for dessert, but fully satisfied, I took one bite of cake and then threw in the towel, or rather, the napkin.
I consider myself a good packer. I make a list, pare it down to just the essentials, and stick to neutral colors so I can mix and match. Despite the confidence I have in my packing skills, I always get tripped up by the "roll versus fold" debate.
Back in May, the New York Times featured this flight attendant demonstrating her packing skills. She swears by the "rolling" mantra: roll pants, jackets, and shirts to reduce wrinkles and give you extra space in your bag. It's very convincing. My older sister-- the complete opposite kind of packer from me, i.e. stressed, packs too much-- now uses this method and seems to have gotten her packing situation under control.
But for some reason I'm not convinced. I always debate myself when it comes time to pack. Roll? Fold? Roll? Fold? I just don't believe that a rolled pair of pants fits better into a suitcase than a folded pair. So I fold. And for my current trip I was able to fit all this stuff (one week's worth) into a carry-on bag.
What method do you swear by? Roll or Fold?
The contents of my suitcase. One carry-on!
Writing/sharing/tweeting from the crossroads of social media, travel, & tech. Read more about me, here.
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