Eat local: Chilean barbeque at the Marchigüe Estate of Viña Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Following our tour and tasting at the Viña Montes winery overlooking the Apalta Vineyards, Colchagua Valley, Chile [see our previous blog post], we drove west to another major Montes vineyard, the Marchigüe Estate, also in the Colchagua Valley

Our Chilean barbeque luncheon table overlooked the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Our Chilean barbecue luncheon table overlooked the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Closer to the coast, this vineyard enjoys a cooler climate, allowing slower ripening of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Carménère and Syrah grapes planted there. We had a chance to briefly tour the property and then convened by the open pit fireplace, bread-baking oven and outdoor grills for a spectacular Chilean barbeque. Of course, with all the appetizers and the proteins and salads, we enjoyed a wide range of Montes wines, including our favorite, Montes Folly (100% Syrah). Another favorite of our group was the Carménère, a varietal that is now only grown in Chile (having originated in Bordeaux, before their vines were destroyed by phylloxera) and closely resembles Merlot.

Local ham and relish on crostini as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Local ham and relish on crostini as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Chilean shrimp ceviche as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Chilean shrimp ceviche as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Delectable meat-filled empanadas as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Delectable meat-filled empanadas as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Marinated prawns as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Marinated prawns as an appetizer for our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Outdoor wood oven-baked soda bread and salads to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Outdoor wood oven-baked soda bread and salads to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The freshest of fresh asparagus salad to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The freshest of fresh asparagus salad to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The spit-roasted baby lamb over the outdoor fire was the main course at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

The spit-roasted baby lamb over the outdoor fire was the main course at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

As it was a new grape variety for most of us, a little introduction to Carménère is probably in order here…

Carménère is a dark skinned grape variety which has found a particularly suitable home in Chile. The red varietal disappeared from European vineyards in the late 19th century when a sap-sucking insect (phylloxera) decimated ancient root stock and Carménère was presumed to have died off. Chilean winemakers had long been intrigued by what they thought was a unique clone of the Merlot grape growing in many of their vineyards. But in the 1990s French ampelographer Jean-Michel Boursiquot determined that the mystery fruit was, in fact, the long-lost grape variety from Bordeaux. It is believed that vine cuttings from Bordeaux were brought to Chile in the late 1860s and that Carménère found a safe haven from phylloxera due to its geographical isolation. In the years since Carménère was forgotten about and when its true identity was revealed, Chileans began to embrace it as if it were a native son and they have ramped up its production dramatically. Chile has capitalized on its status as the savior of Carménère and has incorporated the vine’s memorable story into its famously efficient wine marketing. Montes Purple Angel, Concha y Toro Carmin de Peumo, and the Vina Errazuriz Kai are examples of prestige wines, all competing for the status of Chile’s best Carménère and “Chile’s Signature Wine”.

Delicious ripe tomatoes with a touch of local olive oil to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Delicious ripe tomatoes with a touch of local olive oil to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Of course the lamb wasn't the only protein -- we also had marvelous grilled Chilean chateaubriand at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Of course the lamb wasn’t the only protein — we also had marvelous grilled Chilean chateaubriand at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Beautiful, ripe local avocado slices with home made dressing to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

Beautiful, ripe local avocado slices with home made dressing to accompany the meats and fish at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

In addition to the roast lamb and grilled fillets, we enjoyed frsh grilled local salmon at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

In addition to the roast lamb and grilled fillets, we enjoyed fresh grilled local salmon at our Chilean barbeque luncheon at the Marchigüe vineyards of Viña Montes winery, Colchagua Valley, Chile

 

6 thoughts on “Eat local: Chilean barbeque at the Marchigüe Estate of Viña Montes, Colchagua Valley, Chile

    • Yes, the Viña Montes wines were all very good and the icons — Alpha M, Montes Folly and Purple Angel — were excellent and very good values compared with European, American and Australian high-end red wines. We were very fortunate to have four days of excellent tours, tastings, and luncheons in the Chilean winelands — stayed tuned for day four! We did buy quite a lot of these wines in Chile, with some left on the ship and a case brought home to the U.S. with us on the airplane (as luggage).

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