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LOCAL IMMERSION: IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS

Resorts are making it easier to get to know the place you’re visiting

through mini off-site adventures that take travellers out into the

world surrounding the resort bubble. Bananas, coconuts, avocados

and citrus fruits are all grown in St. Lucia. More importantly? So

are cocoa beans, that key ingredient in the universe’s most perfect

food: chocolate. Jade Mountain resort’s chocolate lab offers visits to

cocoa-growing estates, truffle-making classes and, for those

looking for a truly (and literally) immersive experience, chocolate

body treatments in the resort’s spa. Many more resorts have begun

to offer cooking classes and wine or tequila-tasting events that

allow guests to learn an impressive skill to take home and share

with friends as a newly minted expert – way more useful than that

‘Jamaican Me Crazy’-emblazoned neon tank top or plastic

yard-high margarita glass you were going to cram into that spot in

your suitcase reserved for souvenirs, right?

CT

20

B O N V I VA N T T R AV E L . C A

FALL/WINTER 2018

FALL/WINTER

2018 •

B O N V I VA N T T R AV E L . C A

21

Jade Mountain

The wines of Chile

Historic wines pushing the boundaries

BY

BRITTANY O’ROURKE

CABERNET SAUVIGNON:

The famous French grape continues to make up one third of

Chile’s wine production and deliver the intensity and concentra-

tion Cabernet lovers crave. In the changing Chilean landscape,

look out for unexpected blending partners such as Carignan,

Carménère, or Syrah as the Bordeaux blend is reinvented.

CARMÉNÈRE:

An old Bordeaux grape that was at one time heralded as the

champion of Chilean wine similar to Malbec in Argentina,

Carménère continues to make a statement as vignerons continue

to diversify. It was originally known for very green and vegetal

aromas paired with juicy fruit, soft tannins, and an almost

magenta hue. Now, as committed winemakers move their

plantings to more preferred single vineyard sites closer to the

mountains, top Carménère shows an elegance and freshness

similar to Cabernet Franc in the Loire Valley.

PAIS:

Although Pais is one of the least recognized grapes in the

international market, it is the variety with the longest history in

Chile. Brought by Spanish missionaries from Tenerife in the

Canary Islands, many remaining Pais vines remain untouched in

vineyards with more than 100 years of age. The reembracing of

this grape hints at Chile’s transition from a singular focus on high

octane full bodied wines, and suggests a turning of attention to

fresher styles.

WINE

T

UCKED BETWEEN THE PACIFIC

Ocean and the Andes Mountains,

Chile stretches for nearly 4,300

kilometres up the coast of South

America with more than 1,287 of these

kilometres covered in vineyards.

Spanish Missionaries introduced

vinis

vinifera

to the country over 500 years

ago, and Chile quickly revealed itself as

an enviable home for any vigneron.

The warm summers in the valleys are

dry and dependable, with the ocean

and mountains protecting on either side. It is no

wonder that with the ease of grape growing, Chile

quickly became a name for value, full bodied wines.

In the past decade, though, there has been a

resurgence of exciting new winemakers, grapes and

styles that have returned to the country’s wine

heritage; instead of a singular focus on recreating

Bordeaux wines in Chile, grapes such as Pais and

styles like Pipeño have reemerged. Winemakers and

grape growers alike are turning back to their terroir

to find a Chilean winemaking culture that is purely

their own. Here are some of the key grapes that play

a part in this transition, and some of the wines in

Canadian retailers and restaurants that will show

the renewed diversity of Chilean wine: