Matetic Wine Tour

Walking through vineyards in Matetic

Walking through vineyards in Matetic

Down to our last day in Chile, we decided to splurge for a car rental so we could quickly get ourselves around and explore what we could. The simple process of getting a car wasn’t quite as easy as we had hoped, cutting into our travel time by a couple hours, but these are the joys of travelling in a country where you only know a few words of the local language. With a nice little Toyota Yaris compact sedan now in our grasp (or at least the wheel was in our grasp), we deftly navigated through the streets and undulating hills of Santiago and the Parque por La Paz, an old torture site used during the days of the Pinochet regime, now converted into a memorial and park. We wandered around this area for a bit, struck by the horror of being in a place where so much human suffering had occurred. Much of the area had been destroyed by the regime, but the remnants of cellblocks and other grisly reminders of the past were still visible. Memorials were scattered around the park, many of them featuring the blown up photos of some of those who had been victims here. Young people like us who fought for what they believed in and stood up for what was right. Though their end was tragic, there’s much to be taken from their spirit, and it’s this we drew the most from as we explored the park.

After this trek we tracked down some bottled water and relaxed for a bit, getting ourselves hydrated. From the park we drove towards Valparaiso and the Matetic Winery. We had an appointment set up for a tour of the vineyard. In Chile these tours are often intimate affairs, unlike the U.S. We got there a little late, but were graciously guided around by Marco, one of the guides there. Over the course of the next hour he took around the entirety of the area, explaining all the nuances of the production to us, the history of the place, and even some of the history of the local area and the country. He went in depth about some of the Chilean’s philosophies of wine production, which was definitely not something we were expecting. They take a very cerebral approach to wine making. We bought a couple bottles of their Sauvignon Blanc and thanked Marco for his time and his wonderful tour.

Matetic Vineyard

Matetic Vineyard

By now we were sunburnt and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Now off to track down our last meal in Chile, we ran into a series of closed restaurants, never what you want to experience when you’re hungry. We ended up getting lost and had our pesos run out as we paid our way through multiple tollbooths. After finally finding an open restaurant we had to not only pay for the meal with our credit card, but asked them to make a random additional charge as well, so we’d have enough pesos to get through the tolls and fees at the airport. The name of the restaurant is Eladio, and it’s located in Bellavista Area, in Pio Nono street. The steak huge and outstanding as well, which lightened our mood some over our otherwise shameful predicament. We got to the airport just in time to go through the process of returning our rental car, and doing the whole checking in routine. We sunk down in our plane seats gearing up for the 11 hour flight back to Philadelphia via Miami. It had been a fun and exhausting day, as had the whole trip.