Graham cozies our rental up to the vine and I pluck two sweet white grapes, a sample for him and for me. The fruit pops to release a tidal wave of sauvignon blanc, wine already contained in skin, seriously the most delectable grape ever to grace my palette.
Eating it is like downing a glass of wine, and we go back for seconds and thirds, explosions of vino each time.
Had we known the vines themselves contained the varietals ready to consume, we would have bolted first to the Casa del Mirador for views of the ochre and dusty green valley, row after row of crosshatch pattern across the Casablanca Valley, a wine lover’s paradise cradled between Santiago and Viña del Mar, barely an hour from each.
Casas del Bosque is our first vineyard of the day, and already, we are smitten, its pristinely manicured lawns and welcome center the stuff of Napa and Sonoma and Palisade, expertly cared for, the guest experience well executed. In fact, our introduction to Casas del Bosque comes via a foursome of older Texans, their accents and curiosity betraying their origins long before we exchange pleasantries about Houston and Dallas. Upon hearing our tale of Patagonian adventuring, the rounder gent corners Graham at the restroom to congratulate him on seizing a dream, something hindsight renders clear with regret.
Through the doors, we can’t help but wish our wine-loving friends here, a phantom reunion with our bike-and-wine crew from 2011–Mike and Laura and Jeremy and Erin and Paty and Chad and Katie and Cody and Ryan–for they would rowdy up this place with us, happy to swirl and sip Bosque varietals and enjoy the larger-than-life decor, clearly meant for a deep-pocketed demographic.
Here, we happily receive a lesson in Chile’s premium wines during our degustacion, starting with a fresh and crisp sauvignon blanc, a full-bodied syrah, and a better-after-it-breathes pinot noir.
Mmm, delish, both vino and experience.