Hipsters, Horses, Skin Contact, and the Wines of Chile

Posted on: March 18th, 2013 by
wines of chile

Somewhere in Valparaiso, Chile, you’ll find this image, as well as Casas del Bosque Winemaker Grant Phelps. (FYI, Grant does not look like this.)

While on a recent blogger trip to sample the wines of Chile, I had the added bonus of seeing a city that really impressed me on my previous visit: Valparaiso. Above the city you can wander the streets and come across all kinds of fascinating graffiti and street art. (Check out my slide show for more images.) Not only is Valparaiso home to these astonishing images, but also my friend and Casas del Bosque Winemaker, Grant Phelps. It was great to hang out at his house and catch up over grilled sweetbreads and Sauvignon Blanc. (A surprisingly excellent food and wine pairing.)

I’m doubly pleased to say that he is the most recent guest on my Wine Without Worry podcast. Grant gets things started in a most contentious matter right off the bat by labeling me a hipster, discussing my prejudice toward Chilean horses, and chiding me for my lack of knowledge of formative television programming. Luckily I was able to take the reins and steer him back on topic. First I had to know how a guy from New Zealand ends up making wine Chile.

wines of chile

Don’t panic, Fink, or this beast will throw you and stomp on your tender Yankee blogger head.

After a brief chat about how he got to South America, we dive deep into the wine talk. Chile is a country 2,700+ miles long, so there is a ton of diversity when it comes to grapes, climate, and terrain. We dwell on Sauvignon Blanc, as Grant is keen on experimenting with what extended skin contact (that’s keeping the grapes in contact with the juice for longer periods of time) does to the resulting wine. He’s also a junkie for Pinot Noir, and Chile is making some gems. Not to feel left out, we also tackle Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere, Syrah, Malbec, and (what seems to be the hipster grape) Carignan.

Listen up to the fermented, verbal graffiti:

Wine Without Worry Episode 6 on iTunes: A Flying Winemaker Lands in Chile

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