This coming Saturday, May 2, the tiny little coastal appellation of San Antonio will be getting on its first wine festival from 11am-6pm. San Antonio is about an hour west of Santiago over the steep coastal mountains. In my opinion, San Antonio is hands down producing many of the best and most interesting wines in Chile right now. Try crunchy, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with tingling acidity; earthy cherry-laden Pinot that is oh-so-subtle; and wild and herbaceous cold weather (Northern Rhone) style Syrah. Almost all the wineries are family run and boutique in size. They infuse everything they do with lots of love and will be on hand to get the festivities going!
The line up of wineries, well there are only five, is p-r-e-t-t-y impressive: Leyda , Casa Marin, Garcés Silva, Matetic, and Chocalan. Yes, I can handle drinking some of Matetic’s EQ Syrah, Leyda’s Cahil Pinot Noir (or better yet, Lot 21), Garcés Silva’s new Amayna Syrah, and some of Chocalan’s chocolatey Carmenere.
Of course, since it’s a party, there will be lots of sumptuous eats that pair with wine like Matetic’s gooey raw sheep’s milk cheese and hoardes of empanadas which are made for red wine. Local artisans will also be on hand showing their art. Folkloric music and dance like the cueca will set in as the wine, and afternoon, wear on.
Four tickets cost 5,000 Chilean pesos (US$9) which gets you four glasses (tastings) of varietal/reserve wines. If you want to drink the good stuff like EQ or Casa Marin’s Los Cipresese Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll have to cough up 2-3 tickets per glass. No problema.
See ya there!