Viña Veramonte

  My second stop on the first day of the Winebow Tour was at  the Veramonte vinyards in the Casablanca region, established in 1990 which primarily grow grapes for Savignon Blanc, Merlot, Chardonney and Pinot Noir. The climate in this terroir apparently too cold for Cabernet Savignon and Carmenere,  those grapes are grown in the Colchagua Valley, according to our guide.

    Veramonte boasts 2-3 different soil (lyme, clay, and granitic) which dramatically affects the grapes they use in their wines. There is also a great influence from the ocean in the lower parts of the vinyard, resulting in more fog, less light, and more humidity.  There is no denying that this was a completely new world being made available to me! Light? Fog? Hardly the same elements that affect emulsion, caramelization, or braising!

     Our gracious hosts at Veramonte treated us to a lovely glass of Merlot while touring the vinyards where Merlot and Syrah grapes are cultivated. It was interesting to note that our guide at Veramonte described sections of the vinyard that are dedicated to growing entirely organic wine, such as Syrah.

     After a tour of the immediate plots, we were escorted  inside the winery where we were invited to make our own “blends”  for their Primus featuring Merlot, Syrah, and Pinot Noir. I was happy to defer to my team mates superior knowledge of the alchemy of wine making, and looked forward to the delicious dinner  Chef Claudio Vidal was busy preparing for us.

     I have to agree with the ever intrepid Carolina, that Chilean bread (pan amasado) should never be in short supply on one’s table. At Veramonte, it was accompanied by a thin, crispy sopaipilla which was light, chewy and delicious, but our first course of Coconut Shrimp confused me a little because I didn’t quite understand how that dish had found its way to this menu.

The crusted Conger Eel that was the featured fish course was served with a saffron risotto, and while I appreciated the effort of the chef, I would have preferred a side that better reflected the food of Chile, as opposed to a risotto. The fish was sweet and local and well seasoned with just the right amount of tooth. Yummy!

     Meat is a large aspect of the Chilean diet, and our Roasted Filet Mignon with Mushroom Ragout was an elegant spin on local fare, although again, I would have been happy to see it accompanied by something a bit more traditional. As a novice to Chilean cuisine, I was eager to see what differentiated this from Latin cuisine I am familiar with, and I wasn’t getting a clear sense of it from this menu.

 

     Dessert was a horse of a different color altogether, though, and  featured sweets I had never encountered before, attractively served in pretty glasses. Lovely, merengue topped Suspiros Limenos, Dulce de Leche puddings and a delightfully refreshing Mote con Huesillo, a dessert of reconstituted dried peaches perfumed with orange zest syrup and wheatberries excited even dessert jaded me!  

     The sweets were accompanied by a gorgeous array local Chilean fruit which included kiwi, papaya, lucuma, cherimoya, cactus pear and berries, which beautifully concludeded our  sumptuous dinner at Veramonte. Sleepy and satiated, my friends and I headed back to  the tour bus which would return us to Santiago for our next wine adventure in Chile!

19 Responses to “Viña Veramonte”


  1. 1 Rachael Cwiklinski November 1, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Daisy, I have followed you since I first show your show on PBS! I have your 1st cookbook and LOVE it!! Can’t wait for the new book!!

  2. 2 A Huber November 1, 2010 at 7:52 am

    LOL – Daisy, don’t you know that EVERYONE loves Coconut Shrimp!!!

  3. 3 donald deperna November 1, 2010 at 7:55 am

    Daisy,
    I Love your cookbooks! Your yellow rice is a family favorite that was even a special request for mommy’s last birthday dinner. I’ve learned a lot from you. Thanks for sharing such great recipes!
    Don

  4. 4 Mark Virella November 1, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Hi Daisy,
    Awesome blog! Have you been getting a sense of the indigenous cuisine of Chilé? I would love to see what some of the traditional down home dishes are. The articles and the pictures are wonderful. Safe travels and Buen Provecho! I am officially jealous. Be well and congratulations on the new book. I can’t wait to get my hands on it. Perfect timing for the holidays.
    All the best,
    Mark

  5. 5 Angela Carrera November 1, 2010 at 8:05 am

    everything looks fantastic!!! I hope you enjoyed. the vinyard looks so perfect (I only have two grape vines in my side yard!!!)
    and the FOOD!!!! what a lovely life you have, and I know you are very humble about it all!!! thanks for sharing.

  6. 6 Joyce Colon November 1, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I have a very funny story about your book Latin Flavors…long story short..when I was very poor, which I still am🙂, I checked out your cookbook from the library. I hated having to give the book back, cuz I was trying to reconnect to my PR roots…so I actually wrote down every recipe from the book and got to cooking!! I have since lost that damn notebook, and am dying for another copy of your book “Latin Flavors..” Just thought you would like that story🙂 Oh and also, I didn’t realize that you used kosher salt and the first time I made my arroz con gandules from your book, I used the regular stuff from the market, and as I was measuring I was like, this seems like too much salt, but I remember your PBS cooking show and you were saying “I know it seems like a lot of salt, but trust me you need it”…so I was like okay it needs it, but I ended up cutting back on the salt…thank God cuz it was a least edible, a lil too salty but edible🙂

  7. 7 Lisa November 1, 2010 at 8:26 am

    You go to the best places Daisy!! I’ve always loved your cooking since you first starred on PBS. My aunt is a huge fan too!! Always talking about you. great post!

  8. 8 Vanessa Morales November 1, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Dear Daisy, The pictures are gorgeous! Love your critique of the meal, so very honest. Can’t wait to have your new book to complete my Daisy cookbook collection and right on time for the holidays!

  9. 9 Joseph Rivera November 1, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Hi Daisy! Do you have a book on wines and foods? I never know what type of wine to table with particular types of hispanic dishes. BTW the Conger Eel does sound and look yummy!!

  10. 10 Hilda D'Archangelis November 1, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Congratulations of the release of your new book! Looking forward to it.

  11. 11 Maria Baquero November 1, 2010 at 9:14 am

    I just love the Pictures, and love your recipes. Your show always brought me close to my roots, my family. As a matter of fact every time you were cooking and telling viewers about how you use to cook with your mom and your grandma, the gatherings, and the traditions, my kids would ask me if I knew you,(I am from NY, Boricua) because we had similar stories and traditions and recipes. I would always tell them that “Daisy is a showing the world that our cuisine is one that is delicious and that our culture is rich in family,love and flavor ” That’s the recipe!

  12. 12 Eric Rotsten November 1, 2010 at 9:28 am

    Hi Daisey,
    Congratulations on the new book!
    The trip looks fabulous – can’t wait to see the new recipes.

  13. 13 Frank Gentile November 1, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Everything sounds beautiful in Spanish… “Suspiros Limenos”! Breath or a sigh of Lemon.🙂

    I love using meringue as a topping instead of whip cream. It has a luxurious mouth-feel and carries flavors very well.

    I’m stumped by the sopaipillas – I found lots of references online but haven’t come across a Chilean version that looks like this. I won’t give up – I want to make them.

    Thanks for taking us on board your trip!

  14. 14 Sue Keenan November 1, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Daisy,

    You are a living example of my daily affirmation: “My work is a passionate and fulfilling part of my life”

  15. 15 Lea (walela) Jensen November 1, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Hola! Daisy ~

    I was so excited to hear about your new book! I am still cooking from and reading the adventures from Daisy Morning Noon & Night…particularly loved the negotiation around Christmas Holidays, that was a very cool thing you did for your pequeña familia.
    Of course!…I have been following your shows for many years, la pasion and your fuerza vital draws me in…even though I learned so much from my own abuela’s side, she was a more silent mentor…so I take and hold dear the sories of your happy, livly, and thriving cocina experiencias ~

    en la amistad
    walela

  16. 16 Vanessa Morales November 1, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Love your cookbooks! They always have recipes that become family favorites and go-to recipes when I get bored in the kitchen! My boys have learned to eat yellow rice and pollo guisado because of your recipes! I look forward to adding some new Daisy-recipes to my repertoire. Thank you Daisy!

  17. 17 rob November 1, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    omg this looks amazzzzing! im going to have to take a trip soon!

  18. 18 Abby November 1, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Daisy
    What a blessing to see and the wonderful places you’ve been to and to share with us lovely photos of your experiences. The food looks lovely. Quiero apreder cocinar como tu, te admiro mucho from una boriqua to another, I have your first book its awsome its almost worn out, un abrazo, que Dios te bendiga Abby from Manhattan

  19. 19 Francisco November 2, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Daisy,
    For all of us here at Veramonte It was a pleasure to host you at our home, We´re glad you enjoyed it.

    We hope to see you back sometime in the near future.


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