February 8, 2023
In my post yesterday, I said we were going to be in port in San Antonio Chile and headed on a tour in Santiago. I realized this morning that our tour was near San Antonio and we were not going to Santiago after all. The tour was called “Wine and Poets” and our tour guide was Sebastian (the dog was just paying attention). Thanks again to Erin Erkun for arranging the tour – It was a great day.
We drove through the town of San Antonio, and as always, our guide gave us some information about the area and the country. Some of it, we have heard before, but I always learn something new. As I have mentioned, Chile is situated between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range which runs pretty much the whole length of the country. This area does get rain between May and July, but much less than they used to get, so water is always a problem.
We were a small group of 11. Our first stop was the amazing residence of Pablo Neruda who was one of the original and most prolific poets to write in Spanish in the 20th century. I have to admit that I didn’t know much about him before this visit. He won the 1971 Nobel Prize in Literature. He also occupied many diplomatic positions in various countries during his lifetime and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When the Chilean President outlawed Communism in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda’s arrest. He escaped and would not return to Chile for more than 3 years.
The house and surrounding sea and land are really a work of art. The house is in sections designed to be sort of like a series of train cars. He was a lover of trains. We were not allowed to take pictures in the house itself. We had audio guides for the tour in English and that was very helpful to understand his many collections – bottles, shells, ship mastheads and other nautical artifacts. Too many to list but all very fascinating.
Here are some photos of the rocky beach, the outside of the home and some of the outdoor art. He was also fond of fish and there are many representations to be seen here.
Here are some photos of us with friends who went on the tour with us.
After our visit, we went for the wine part of the tour. What a surprise to see two of our talented entertainment team, Robbie and Casey, there enjoying the wine.
We enjoyed a tour of the winery, Casa Marin, and learned a lot about how it came to be and what it produces. It would be known as a boutique winery, producing only 140,000 bottles a year. They do export to 20 countries around the world, and in the US their distributors are in Georgia and Pennsylvania.
There was a lot of really interesting art around the winery.
The founder of the winery is a woman (with vision and fortitude for sure), Maria Luz Marin. Her idea of starting a winery close to the ocean with its cool climate was laughed at by many – she was called a crazy woman, and yet she persisted! Her vineyard is the closest to the Pacific Ocean in South America and they produce Sauvignon Blanc (which won best Sauvignon Blanc in the world twice), Sauvignon Gris, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Garnacha under three different labels.
They do not do their own bottling since they only do it about 20 days a year. Who knew there were mobile bottling operations? It comes to the winery for the day and bottles over 6000 bottles.
And yes, there is a vineyard dog.
After the tour we did a tasting of 5 wines – Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Noir, Syrah and a Syrah blend. Our favorite was surprisingly the Riesling. We bought 6 bottles of wine there.
On the way back to the ship, we stopped at a church specifically to see the painting on the outside done by Maria’s sister.
We are at sea tomorrow and Puerto Montt on Friday. Lots more of Chile to see.
Looks like everything is better now that you got past the Covid issue.
Thank you so much for sharing all the details of your wonderful day.
Riesling is one of my favorites as well.
Enjoy your sea day:)