Most people who have never been to the Kingston winery in Chile don’t realize that our bodega, tucked into a corner of Western Casablanca, is not the easiest to find. To make sure our guests don’t get lost on the way here, we like to provide some detailed directions which have received some notice from various writers. When Jim Weinrott from Wine Access wrote about his visit to Kingston and the directions with which we provided him, he commented that they read like a passage from On the Road with instructions like “turn right at the big eucalyptus trees, cross the bridge and hang a right when you see the cows.” Though it sounds comical, he actually wasn’t too far off the mark about our detailed instructions. With few street signs in Casablanca and no sign marking the entrance to our winery, landmarks lead the way.
When Rex Pickett, author of Sideways came to visit us, he too commented on the directions and said we were the first to provide such detail on how to arrive. On a 4 month tour of Chile and its distinct wine regions before he writes his next Sideways book, Rex stopped by to take a tour of Kingston and have lunch at the casa patronal, one beautiful spring day in Casablanca.
Beginning with a tour of the winery, assistant winemaker Alejandra Farfán gave Rex a background on our winemaking process. Having visited some of Casablanca in the last three weeks, he mentioned how much he had been enjoying the Sauvignon Blanc from our valley and was impressed by the tiny stainless steel barrels which we use to ferment our Cariblanco Sauvignon Blanc. He was also intrigued by our plan to purchase concrete wine eggs for the upcoming 2013 season.
With a a view of the Andes and Aconcagua off in the distance, from our terraza Alejandra led him through a tasting of our recently bottled 2012 Cariblanco Sauvignon Blanc our 2010 CJ’s Alazan Pinot Noir as well as our 2008 CJ’s Barrel Syrah. He very much enjoyed the wines and helped himself to several second tastes of our Cariblanco. What seemed to intrigue him most our about the wines and our winery, was the fact that we’re quite a new winery making such great wines (the entire Casablanca is quite young in fact) and that the winery is predominantly run by a team of women. Two of our winemakers, Evelyn Vidal our head winemaker and Alejandra Farfán, our assistant winemaker are women, our chemist is a woman and the founder of the winery Courtney Kingston, is also a woman. While he said that he’d met other female winemakers in Chile, the fact that two out of three of our vintners were women really impressed him. He was also shocked that Alejandra could be a winemaker at such a young age.
After the tasting and tour was over, Rex hugged Alejandra goodbye and headed for lunch at the casa patronal with Sally Kingston and Enrique Alliende. Over lunch, Sally and Enrique shared further background on the winery and the family’s history as well as Sally’s famous lamb shanks. As he left to visit Casa Marín, Rex told Sally he would be back to cook lamb shanks with her before the end of his trip.