When I made the decision to take my 16 month wine odyssey I considered just travelling in Europe as the origin and bastian of wine in the world. However I thought it would be a good opportunity to visit North and South America to see what they were doing, as well as taking advantage of a round-the-world ticket. Little to any wine from these continents is imported into Australia because there isn’t much market for them. This is probably because the style and varieties are very similar to wines we make here and in New Zealand and therefore there isn’t much point importing them. As such I was very unfamiliar with regions and producers and had to do a lot of my own research. Information online was often hard to find and of those that I attempted to get in contact with, less than 50% responded to me at all.
Chile was particularly bad for this. Whilst every winery I found had generally great websites to visit and get information from, they seem to never read any emails sent to their general address! Or even worse they don’t bother replying at all. Amazingly when I sent an email to the general address for Neyen de Apalta – a modern icon of Chile in Colchagua – the email went directly to the Managing Director Jaime Rosello. In responding to me, Jaime was not only happy for me to visit Neyen, but he also informed me that he managed the Veramonte winery in Casablanca and I was welcome to visit him there beforehand. His generosity didn’t stop there as he proceeded to enquire where else I was going and contacting some of the many people he knows in the industry and helping make appointments on my behalf. One of the most genuine, humble and generous people I met on my trip, I sent him some questions recently so that I could know him better and here were his responses.