March 03, 2009

Chile Santiago Undurraga Winery

We visited the Santa Ana Estate of the Undurraga Winery (recently sold to new Chile and Columbian owners) in the Maipo Valley, 34 km outside Santiago. It was a fairly typical wine tour with the highlights being the tasting of different grapes, the contrast of leaf types, and tasting Carmenere wine. Their oldest vines are 40-year old cabernet sauvignon. Our guide noted the differences between American and French oak barrels ( American Oak – larger pores, stronger flavor, barcoded; French Oak – smaller pores, more delicate, vanilla) and said that they pay $700 for new barrels but sell the old barrels for only $10. I noticed they store wine in floating roof stainless steel tanks.

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