Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Valparaiso, Vina del Mar and wine tasting

On January 17 we booked a tour to Casablanca Valley (just one wine tasting), Valparaiso, and Vina Del Mar.

Yes, we stopped on the side of the highway exit

Mmmmm wine grapes

Close up

Vineyard

After a quick (and not so cheap or good) tasting at Veramonte, we headed to Valparaiso, a city known mostly for it's busy seaport and houses on top of steep hills. One of Pablo Neruda's houses is in this area as well. Pablo Neruda was a famous poet. We then drove around the area checking out all the colorful houses and graffiti.

Pablo's house in Valparaiso

The view from his house

See, this proves we were really there

Pablo

Houses in the Valparaiso area

Colorful

Door!

Cat posing in front of a door for me

Monsters 

Cute street

Usa la bici (use the bike)

Cobblestone streets and colorful houses

This wall depicts the different parts of Chile

The burning man represents the Tierra del Fuego area

Depicting the moon cycle

Cool graffiti

We then made a quick stop to walk around Plaza Sotomayor.

Monument to the Heroes of Iquique (Battle of Iquique fought in 1879)

Setting up for the completion of the Dakar (race) in Valparaiso which starts in Argentina, goes through Bolivia and ends in Chile

Headquarters of the Chilean Navy

Another view of the Monument of Heroes

Up close and personal with the Cherokee Princess

Looking back across the street to the HQ of Chilean Navy and in case you forgot, there are 5 flags to remind you you're in Chile

View of the bay, harbor and hills of Valparaiso 

Another view of the port of Valparaiso

Lots of shipping containers

Another stroll through a neighborhood in Valparaiso

Thanks Paul, for pointing out the poo on the street

This dog probably was the culprit

Cool house
We then drove through Viña Del Mar (vineyard by the sea) - the 4th most populous city in Chile.

Infamous Flower Clock (from Switzerland)

Casino de Vina del Mar was opened in 1930

Getting close to the beach

Wulff Castle

Poor horsie

Nice view

Hello Pacific Ocean!

The beach is a little crowded

View from the top

On Wednesday, January 22 we did a little bit more wine tasting. We took a tour (totally not worth the price and I'm preparing a poor review of the service) but we were glad to have been able to visit and taste the wine of Sanchez de Loria.

Viña San Esteban

Snow capped mountains in the background

This is where they store the wine

We stopped on the side of the road to taste some red globe grapes. They were delicious!

Grapes for apes

Not quite ready for harvest

So plump

Pretty

We then went to Errazuriz winery - one that was highly recommended by our tour guide and was coincidentally the most expensive. Of course, we didn't find this out until after the tour and tasting. This made me very unhappy since this tour guide was rated the top in Santiago, I expected that he would be a little bit more informative. Considering the first place we visited cost $18 per person for tour/tasting (we actually got a discount because we ended up in a group, which made the total cost $12.50 per person), I really didn't think that the next winery could be 4 times more than that! Yes, I was a bit shocked and (I think) rightfully angry. Oh, and yes, I will be posting a negative review for him on TripAdvisor.

Walking down into the cellar

Wine barrels at Errazuriz

Grapes for their Syrah

We got a tour of a good part of the vineyard - pretty views

Mountains everywhere

Grapes for their Cabernet Sauvignon

Pretty

Looks like a painting

Paul's impatient look

This used to be where they kept all the wine barrels - it now serves as a tasting room

Our last stop was Sanchez de Loria. We really wanted to visit this winery to see if Paul could find a long lost cousin.

Could he be related?

Hmmm...a little resemblance?

Wine tasting with the owner - maybe distant relatives?

Original building from the 1800's

Good wine too!

They also export grapes

Probably the best grapes I've ever had!

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