In Copiapo we stayed with Amelie Secretan, Jose-Miguel Cuadra and their two girls Eliza and Maitie. The family have a micro-production of vines (the most Northern vines of Chile). The expermental vines include Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carminere annd Tammer for the reds and Sauvignon blanc and Chardonnay for the whites. The aim is an experimenation of the "terroir" and this has proved to be a success, the reds were elegant, lively and most agreable. The whites were also very enjoyable with a good balance between the minerality and the "gras" (sorry there are some words that I can't find a convenable translation for).
We didn't just taste the wines but actually got our hands into them, which made us feel very much at home. Amelie and Jose-Miguel had bought a new bottling machine and we were very pleased to help them put it into operation for the first time. Jean-Luc's lifetime of wine-making came in very handy when putting our mini production line into place and getting the machine to perform properly.
We started with the whites and then the reds, it was great to be bottling in the open air under the Chilean skys......and also to be able to pay back a bit of the incredible hospitality that this family had shown us!