Fuck you Chile. You’re worse than the French.
There are good strikes, like when you go bowling. There are bad strikes, like when the Central Line stops working. There are really bad strikes, like if lightning strikes you on your face. Then there’s the strike in Chile. You can come up with your own extension of my boxer shorts analogy, it doesn’t take much imagination but I won’t print it because my mum is reading this. I’ve given up (for now) so I am going surfing instead… here:
Although the reality will be more like this…
To appease my frustration, I am going to tell you some interesting facts about Chile’s wine production that I uncorked (lol) on my trip to Undurruga vineyard:
- Chile has the oldest vines in the world, some ungrafted vines are over 200 years old. Why? I hear you cry in unison. Because in the mid 19th century there was a Phylloxera plague that wiped out many, mostly European vines (obvs). Chile, however, is essentially an island, with the Atacama desert, Andes, Patagonia and Pacific at each end of its compass meaning it avoided the plague and retained its original vines.
- That same geography creates perfect growing conditions with the oven in the north and the fridge in the south, plus some funky microclimates.
- It has the oldest Malbec vines in the world, which, up until recently, were not known to be Malbec and were being used to produce cheap wine that was mixed with pineapple ice cream to make a cocktail called the Earthquake. Oops. Javier, our guide, said something about up the French and their growing traditions.
- Chile is renowned for its production of the Carmenère grape (a light, red wine, best drunk young) which was long exported to Europe as Merlot, until a 1994 DNA test revealed it to, in fact, not be a Merlot at all! I imagine somebody got fired for that. I hope it wasn’t Malbec guy again. Maybe all the wine experts were on strike.
I also went to Valparaíso and got sunburnt walking up some hills taking distinctly average photos of some really cool art and got lost a lot. I couldn’t find any of the famous art because I slept in and missed my tour so I have provided you a link here instead. (Just pretend I took them all or something.)
I listened to Reggaeton in a club on the top of a multistorey carpark with some locals who spoke no English. My Spanish got me into trouble. My Spanish got me out of trouble. I posted a letter. I stubbed my toe an alarming number of times (I assume the road repairers are all on strike).
Some photos I did take of Valp: