Fresita sparkling, perfect for a sunny day

Summer is here! Whoop! We’d better enjoy it while we can here in Londontown. I got a bottle of Fresita the other day and decided to take it along to the first ever Club Sandwich Friday lunch hosted at my friend Sig’s (Scandilicious) house. What started as a simple rant on twitter as to why you can’t get a decent clubbie in London had evolved into a couple of us twitterers getting together to make a proper club. Sig and Linda brought the ingredients and I brought the vino. A club sandwich is nothing fancy so no need to bring an expensive claret or Condrieu, something fun and bubbly would do. Fresita was also the result of a twitter convo, someone challenging me to try it as I’d turned my nose up at all those fruit added wines. So crispy bacon? Check. Ripe avocado and beefsteak tomato? Check. Smoked Ham? Check. Home made bread and boiled guinea fowl eggs (so we got a wee bit fancy)? Check and check. Iceberg lettuce (gotta be iceberg) and condiments? Double Check. And we were off assembling our sandwiches. We cheated a bit and didn’t do double deckers but even so it was still hard to get that sandwich into my mouth. And the Fresita? It was so delicious. Sparkly and fruity but not cloyingly sweet. Some of the comments, “no chemical aftertaste” which I think you often find in those fruity drinks, “tastes like real strawberry cooler” and “lovely”.  The reason why? Because it’s made with 100% organic strawberry pulp from Chile, handpicked and no added sugar – just, real intense strawberry flavours and aromas, sweet but not sickly sweet, blended with the sparkling wine. The sparkling wine used is a blend of premium chardonnay and s. blanc. We all agreed that it would be a great alternative to rose because it wasn’t as alcoholic (only 8%) or acidic as some of those wines can be. A delicious alternative to Pimm’s  or plain sparkling wine. So grab a...

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Cono Sur – Chilean organic wines

Jul 27, 09 Cono Sur – Chilean organic wines

Posted by in Chile

I don’t know what it is about the summer but I just haven’t been in a writing mood lately. Which is a bit of a shame because I’ve been going to some great tastings lately. For example, I went to a winetasting a couple of weeks ago hosted by the delightful Chilean winemaker, Adolfo Hurtado of Cono Sur Vineyards and Winery of Chile. People often make the mistake of thinking that Cono Sur is synonomous with the big brand, Concha y Toro.  Although Cono Sur is a subsidiary of Concha y Toro, it is completely independent from it, making their wines in their own distinct fashion. Winemaking came to Chile in the 1850’s with the French winemakers who were fleeing the phylloxera crisis that was plagueing the Continent at the time.  The French settled in Maipo Valley because pragmatically enough, it was the closest vinegrowing region to Santiago de Chile, the capital. Besides the Maipo Valley, there are also the Colchagua, the Casablanca, the Rapel, the Maule and the Bio Bio Valleys, all of which are used for grape growing and winemaking. Chile is ideally situated to produce wine,even if it’s a long thin strip of land clinging to the western coast of South America. It’s bordered on one side by the Andes Mtns and the other by the Pacific Ocean but the centre of the country is a series of valleys, of geographical islands that have historically been phylloxera free and disease free. Chile also benefits from the Humboldt Current of off the coast which helps to cool down the inland valleys in summer. And, it is a very dry country receiving very little rainfall throughout the year. For this reason, wineries have to irrigate but they do have access to the glacial waters of the Andes Mtns, which on a positive note is great for organic production because no seeds or other unwanted detritus is brought in with the irrigation water. That’s not to say that Chile is pest free but Cono Sur has come up with unique ways to deal with the various creepy crawlies that can invade Chilean vineyards. One of the most common...

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