Concho y Toro Winery (Thurs., 3/12/09) – Red, red wine …
by Lidia Berger -- March 12th, 2009
Tour of the vineyards.
Heading West of Santiago away from the mountains, our French tour guide Denis explains that we are in close proximity to the ocean where it is cooler than in other parts of the country. However, when we arrive the sun is beating down at Casa Lapostolle and the air feels hot and dry. A dusty road is in front of us with perfectly arranged rows of green vines with yellow grape bunches shimmering in the sun. I sure could use a glass of water right now but instead I reach for a grape. This perfectly spherical fruit explodes in my mouth with sweet and juicy taste. I can understand now why this region gets such a great quality of wines.
Denis points the group in a direction of a composting pile. Nothing unusual here but wait, directly next to the compost to my surprise we see a pile of cow horns loosely arranged as though they were waiting for a disposal. These horns play an important role in fertilization process and form a crucial part of the mix used to spray the vines. All processes here are in harmony with nature. The winery raises about 40 to 50 hens to control insects at the winery. Denis continues: “Organic is too easy to do, if you do nothing at the winery than it could be considered organic.” Biodynamic on the other hand is closer to what the highest French wine producing standards would accept.
Moving on to the Matetic winery, we are greeted by a young and knowledgeable guide who speaks with passion about biodynamic viticulture and the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. This farming practice is ruled by the calendar where each day of the year has its own nurturing activity.
The Matetic winery was started in ’99 and is in a state of the art facility. It has a gravity fed design which minimizes energy needs and actually prevents grapes from getting a fungus. The architecture uses the golden ratio (phi) to be aesthetically pleasing at the same time it attracts the right spirits for wine making. It’s said that a song sung in this oak barrel room will resonate perfectly and be heard by God. We tested this first hand when Holly shared a hymn.