Wine philistine

There’s red, white and a type of combination they call rose. Fair enough. I have the basics. I am always up to learn something new and interesting. I was in for a treat.

Well our first tour was a of DiamAndes in the Uco Valley at the foot of the Andes Mountains established only twenty years ago by a group of French winegrowers and one of the Clos de los Siet -which is in fact just five.  Apparently the very famous oenologist Michel Rolland was the impetus behind the famed Bordeaux winemakers taking on the challenge. We learnt all this the moment we met our guide Julianne, from Bandol, France whose passion for wine was palpable.

The architecture was stunning, the setting glorious and the suspended sculptural diamond at the heart of the grand space was just superb. Julianne had a six-month contract to basically perfect the art of presentation. She oversaw the tours, the food and wine degustation courses and the general ambience. Little touches included the plates and bowls, the napery and the flowers -all locally sourced. Our lunch was delicious and accompanied by suitable wines at each course. Julianne explained why she chose the wines she did and how they would impact and enhance the food we were eating. The setting at a picture window overlooking the vineyards was breath taking. A truly unique experience.

Touring the winery, we discovered how technical, experimental and passionate about getting it right this group was. One machine actually separated the skin and seeds leaving just the fruit. Another used internal balloons to extract the juice so as not to bruise the babies. Then we found out about the evolution of the wine, how so many things impacted on the taste of the wine- the temperature of the wine, the temperature of the room, the shape of the glass, the actual nature of the glass itself, the altitude at which you are drinking it, the day of week and colour of your eyes…the list goes on. I was beginning to suspect the nature of the wine was always going to be a mystery to me and I would remain a happy philistine.

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