Continuing on from the last post where we visited Clos Apalta winery, we journeyed on to our second winery of the day, Laura Hartwig. DOS and I are on a three day private wine tour of the Chilean wine regions of Casa Blanca and Colchuga Valley, hosted by Jose, the owner of Uncorked Wine Tours. Here is Steve (DOS) by the entranceway, as we waited for our tour to start.
Going from the iconic winery Clos Apalta to Laura Hartwig, was quite a change of wineries to say the least. While Clos Apalta was huge, grand, and First Class everything – stunning you might say, Laura Hartwig was smaller and more traditional – rustic you might say. Not that either is right or wrong, good or bad; the image for an iconic wine requires an iconic-looking winery. We like seeing the big and grand as well as the small and boutique. We actually like the smaller wineries more for their personal and family touch and intense passion for their product.
At Laura Hartwig Winery, we first met our local winery guide, Diego. Diego then escorted us on a horse-drawn wagon ride thru their vineyards, giving the vineyard a bit of a ‘wild west’ feel. It was quite a pleasant ride thru the vineyards, and we were the only guests aboard. Along the way, Diego explained the different areas and varieties grown in the vineyards, and it was a nice and different way to tour than any of the other vineyards we went thru.
We then toured the small wine-making facility there, and got an up close and personal look at the wine process that is automated in the larger wineries. We saw a ‘wine foil enclosure device’ (don’t recall the name of it) which is applied over the cork to seal the bottle. Diego actually let DOS use the device on a bottle to seal it.
Next we saw a lady applying labels to the many wine bottles, each label individually done by hand. With so many steps in the wine-making process we take for granted, you can easily see why wine is expensive – it’s literally an art of love. We were in Napa a couple years ago and the joke was “How do you make a million dollars in the wineries? Answer: Invest 10 million dollars and hope for the best!”
Next we moved on to the last room and gift shop, where we tried several fine Laura Hartwig wines, served to us personally by Diego.
While tasting, Diego showed us several photos of the matriarch of the family, Laura, hence the name of the winery. The fancy label on the wine bottles is a photo of Laura herself in her 20’s I believe, yet she is still ever so attractive and elegant now in her 80’s.
We bought four bottles of wine to take home, as we can’t find back in Orlando where we live; plus we really enjoyed them. Like Kinston Winery we went to yesterday, there is much to be said and enjoyed at these smaller family-owned wineries. You feel like you’ve visited the ‘family’ if only for the day, but have happy memories later on when you have the wine at home.
Next stop and post is lunch, but for now:
Cheers to Laura – you’re beautiful and we had a wonderful visit at your winery!