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Author: Subject: Wine valle report from early May.
Santiago
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[*] posted on 5-20-2022 at 09:31 AM
Wine valle report from early May.


A few weeks ago four of us did a 2-day wine valle trip after a year away, found that some things are rapidly changing while others are still the same. Reservations required at many of the larger venues; you can no longer just drive around without a ‘plan’ backed up with reservations. We could not get into the following wineries as we did not make reservations: Bruma, Las Nubes, Mogor. Lechuza has always required reservations and we had them, their website makes it very easy as they use OpenTable. The other three did not have a user-friendly way of making reservations requiring direct email or calling them. I suspect that many other wineries may also have the same requirements.
These wineries we were still able to show up and get served: Decantos, Sol Y Barro, Tres Mujeres, Alximia, and Venidos Malagon.

The highlight of the trip was a fluke. We stayed at Rancho Maria Teresa (Posada Inn) in the two cabanas at the back of their property. This is a great place for two couples as they have a firepit out front just for the two cabanas and it’s separated from most of the motel rooms. On our 2nd day, after getting turned away from Mogor around 2:00pm, we said “phukit, let’s go back to the Rancho and play cribbage”, drink some wine and eat all the snacks our friends brought (awesome cold-smoked salmon). Maria Teresa had closed their wine tasting room last year, it’s now a small gift shop with coffee and teas.
When we parked, it was in front of where they used to make and store the wine and out walks a guy. One in our group has never met a stranger, walks up to him and asks if we can taste some of the Rancho’s wine. Turns out the guy is Maria Terresa’s son-in-law and is restarting their wine operation. He takes us into a tasting room behind the office, pulls out a bottle of 2012 Nebbiolo and pours three fingers for each of us. Just us 5, all very chatty, and everyone raises the glass for a taste.
Not trying to be overly dramatic, but the room got very quiet as we all knew that this was special. We all take another sip just to make sure we aren’t nuts, set our glasses down and turn to stare at son-in-law. He’s grinning like a Cheshire cat, knows what he has and starts into a long dissertation on how Nebbiolo was brought over by the Italians and turns out to be just perfect for the valle. Best wine we have ever had in the valle and maybe anywhere for that matter. They do have some 2013 for sale, but only a handful of cases left. You snooze, you lose.

The reservation requirements have resulted from a crush of people showing up in vans and buses over-powering the venue’s ability to offer a positive experience to their visitors. Some are changing what they do. For example, Bruma requires you to reserve an hour slot where they give you a winery tour followed by 3 different flights. You can not buy a glass or bottle and drink it on site, trying to get away from the bar-hopping crowd.
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