Thursday, 17 January 2013
some pinot noir with your foot?...
I just came back from a day in Casablanca and thought you’d both find this story particularly interesting. Having taken the bus from Santiago and arriving 2 hours before my appointment at Casas del Bosque, I took a taxi to what I thought was to be a welcoming visitor experience at “Loma Larga,” some 3kms back from the highway on a lonely country road. The fare paid, I entered what was nothing but an office and surprised staff who informed me the latest tour was already well underway and they wouldn’t be able to accommodate until 4pm (which would be in the middle of my other appointment). Instead, they directed me to the winery “R.E.”, 1.5km back down said road. Not familiar with the label, the mentioned it was a part of the Morande family; a label that I know very well in our market. A nice stroll in the end beside young berries, and fortunately the misty clouds famous in the region were keeping the temperatures cool.
Cut to 1.5km later as I enter the gate to a fancy SUV about to leave. Obvious disappointment flashes on my face; an prosperous-looking early arrival to Casablanca damaged by heavy autumn rains. The surprised-faced, healthy mid-fifties gentleman asks (in Spanish), “where have you walked from today?”
“Vancouver!” I answer, and explain my failed Loma Larga attempt and hopes that a second attempt at a visit won’t be for naught.
After joking chatter about how long it takes one to walk from either Vancouver via Loma Larga, the gentleman responds with “The tour guide is currently at lunch, but I can get you a wine while you wait if you like.”
At this point, thirsty and tired, I am more than thrilled to have a seat and sample, melba toast dipped in olive oil as a welcome lunch.
En route to the winery, I notice a “Morande” emblem on the spotlessly white polo shirt. I think to myself “must work here. It is, after all, part of Morande.”
As we approach the doors, I realise I forgot to properly introduce myself. “Me llamo David Munro,” I say, offering a hand to shake.
“Me llamo Pedro Morande.”
As in THE Morande of Morande Wines; founder of the Casablanca wine industry and, arguably, one of Chile’s most celebrated winemakers.
If anything, there is nothing like a first impression, and I have a feeling we will remember each other on future encounters.