La Casona at Matetic Vineyards - Chile
After my working experience on a wine yard in Chile and a couple of other wine yards we have visited in Chile, like the Hotel VIK Chile and the Clos Apalta Residence (you can find both articles on our Blog too) and seven months of traveling and unforgettable moments, my journey came to an end. I decided to finish this amazing experience with another highlight and traveled to the wine yard “Vina Matetic”, which was very close to the Casablanca valley where I have worked at the “Casas del Bosque” wine yard. Vina Matetic is approximately 80 kilometers to the west of Santiago de Chile and is located in the Rosario Valley. The wine yard is owned by the Matetic family, the Croatian family came to Chile, Patagonia in 1892 where they also are represented with the “Patagonia Camp” (https://www.luxury-executive.com/blog/patagonia-camp-torres-del-paine-chile). After a long research and study of the terroir in Chile, the family decided to open a wine yard in 1999 in the San Antonio appellation, where they wanted to become pioneers of the cool-climate Syrah. These parts of Chile are highly influenced by the Pacific Ocean. The wine yard is very concentrated on certified organic and biodynamic viticulture.
I took a taxi from Casablanca to the hotel which took me around 20 minutes. I arrived a bit too early so my room wasn’t ready yet but they offered me to take lunch first so I went to the restaurant where the very friendly staff welcomed me and seated me at the big window front. I directly started with the wine pairing lunch menu which they do to introduce you to their wines. What I really liked was the extra book which was on the table where you could find all the information over each wine they produce so there you could find information over the terroir, the specialities how they did produce this wine, tasting notes and the perfect wine pairing and for all who are more into the winemaking part there was the technical information too. So now I had all the necessary information over the wine and just had yo enjoy the wines with my wonderful dinner. Another wonderful detail was the place sets which they designed with a map of The Valley, where you could find all the hotel the cellar, all the special small regions where they grow there wines and all other possible activities you could while being a guest of this amazing property.
My starter was a tuna carpaccio with a scallop tartare refined with olive oil from the farm and paired with the light “Corallilo Pinot Noir D.O. San Antonio”. The first main course was a fresh and creamy risotto with abalone, asparagus, and fresh Parmesan cheese also flavored with the homemade olive oil -abalone is a special sea snail. The risotto was paired with the Chardonnay from the EQ line and also grown in the San Antonio Valley. A slow-cooked lamp braised in the Matetic Syrah served with sweet corn purée and paired with the EQ Syrah from San Antonio. The dessert was a homemade cheesecake of goat cheese with Quincy jelly and Syrah ice cream and biodynamic blueberries of the own farm. The cake was paired with the “Corallilo Riesling” of Casablanca valley an amazing lunch menu and a wonderful possibility to learn a lot over the property and its traditions.
After my lunch, I could go to my amazing suite. All of the 10 suites were in a u-form in the back if the reception and are named after one of their grapes they plant in the wine yard. My room was designed in a colonial old style with the detail for winemaking. The room was separated in a living room with a big king size bed, a small wooden desk and a seating area also in the colonial style. And a vast bathroom with green and white tiles for me the bathroom was a bit too much with the colors but matched to the old style of the rest of the hotel so it’s just a question of taste. The bathroom had double vanities an in-room toilet and a big bathtub with jacuzzi and shower in it. Also, the paintings of bugs and insects in the bathroom are not my cup of tea but that’s also different with every guest. The toiletries were no-name but BIO so they matched the policies of the hotel and smelled pretty good.
In the evening I went to the big living room next to the reception. Some of the guests are coming together there around 6 or 7 to take the aperitif and talk about their daily enjoyments and activities or just to read in front of the fireplace or play a round of Billard. After that, I went to dinner where the cuisine surprised me again with a wonderful selection of dishes paired heavenly with their own wines. The second day I planned to do a tour through the wine cellar and look how they do their wines. But before the tour started I went to the restaurant to take my breakfast they had a fresh egg menu where you could choose in between eggs Benedict, scrambled or fried eggs and a big breakfast buffet with a selection of hams and cheese, fresh fruits, homemade yogurts and fresh juices. They also offer freshly baked bread and pastries and house-made cereals. After a delicious breakfast, I was more than ready for my full day!
A shuttle took me and some other guests to the close by wine cellar which was located on the highest point of the area. The tour started in the wine yard with a wonderful view of the Valley with a small hut on top where they explained a lot about the history of the place and the history of the wine yard. Then we went into the cellar where they showed us where they revive their grapes and their two-floor system. They let the grapes fall into the tank by gravity so they don’t have to pump their wines too often, this is the best and most stressless way. After the room with the tanks we went to the Barrique cellar but they also do work with big concrete eggs to create their complex white wines. Right next to this room was the degustation room, where they had a special table with which they explain their soil textures and which effects they have for the specific wines. Also, we were able to try two red and two white wines. The tour ended in the small shop of the wine yard where you could buy all homemade products from jams over olive oil to different peace’s of wool, all artisanal crafts.
After my tour, I had the most amazing sunset I’ve had in Chile. The dark red and violet sky over the late summer wine yard and the hotel pool was a very magical moment. And once again I started my dinner at the living room with a delicious glass of Sauvignon Blanc. All in all my stay at this property was a culinary journey I will not forget, one of the best experiences I’ve made in Chile. And for all who want to relax a bit after dinner and maybe take a digestif, they are very welcome in the living room again where they offer an open bar system. My third day was the more adventurous one in the morning I had an amazing bike tour with an excellent guide. We were just the two of us so we could do a big and sporty tour - they will adapt their level to the guests, so you could do a relaxed short tour too. The guide told me lots of interesting stories about the whole area and the history of the family and the region. You will learn a lot about the vegetation and the animals of this region. This tour is highly recommendable and definitely worth to do, I’ve had lots of fun and the three hours tour was perfectly chosen. Very well done.
After the tour, I’ve had lunch at the bungalow which was located next to the small pond close by the hotel. This place also is open for the day guests and day tourists. But nevertheless the food was outstanding again and very delicious. As a hotel guest, you’ll always get a three-course menu with a wine you can choose while the other guests can choose from the á la carte menu. In the afternoon they did organize a horseback riding tour for me, that’s the perfect solution for all horse lovers to explore the region. They drove me with the car to the stable where a so-called “Huaso” that’s the name of the Chilean cowboys already waited with a horse. And again it was a very private and unique experience. But I would recommend this trip if you are a Spanish speaker because the natives usually don’t speak English and even if it’s hard to understand. The horseback riding was between one and one and a half hours the perfect duration to enjoy and revive the countryside of San Antonio Valley.
Thank you very much for this wonderful experience at this amazing wine yard. We were guests of the Matetic Vineyards and stayed at La Casona for editorial purposes. However all above written has not been influenced and represents our own opinion.