Throwback to France… And Chile (A Look into French Winemaking in the New World)

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I think the reason why I fell in love with France is that the French people (or the ones that I’ve met anyway) have shared my love of history, art, culture, gastronomy, and wine. Similarly, they have also embraced my predilection for the unusual.

That being said, this being my last entry in my #throwbacktofrance series, I decided to do something bizarre and highlight the art of French winemaking in the New World.

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Rows of barrels in Lapostolle’s ageing room

The wines of Lapostolle are a collaborative effort between the makers of Grand Marnier (the Marnier Lapostolle family), thus combining French winemaking sensibilities and the glorious terroir of Chile. Their slogan says it all: “French in Essence, Chilean by Birth”.

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Visiting their property after going to different vineyards around Chile was mind blowing… Prior to Lapostolle, the vineyards I was brought to had the look and feel of being in South America.

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Experimental concrete “egg” barrel amidst all the traditional wooden ones

As I stepped inside the Lapostolle property, however, I momentarily questioned where I was. It was so chic; I really thought I was back in Reims (complete with Fiona, their French sommelier, who let me brush up on my French salutations… Bonjour, choupette!).

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This beautiful fusion translates to their stunning wines. I loved the Casa Grand Selection Sauvignon Blanc, which was a wonderfully gentle take on a typically acerbic wine.

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Bottles in their state-of-the-art cellar

I was also partial to the Canto de Apalta, which is a powerful blend of the signature Chilean red grape Carmenere, with the French staples Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, and Merlot.

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We got to taste ALL that!

The pièce de résistance, however, was definitely the Clos Apalta. What I can only describe as a big and robust, yet elegantly fancy, this is blended in the Bordeaux tradition, but with a Chilean twist (the addition of Carmenere to the Bordeaux powerhouses Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot). I felt that it captured the spirit of the house… Clos Apalta was very “French meets Chile”, and absolutely exquisite.

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Entrance to the Lapostolle Residence

Bonus: Should people decide to fully immerse themselves in the Lapostolle experience (have phenomenal gastronomic experiences, marvel at the Chilean landscape, escape the city for a while, and drink all day… Order of activities unimportant), their property has a residence people can stay in.

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Gorgeous view… Vineyards as far as the eye can see

What’s your favorite French-New World wine collaboration? Cheers!

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