22 April, Friday – Day 4
A rather grey and dull morning dawned on us very slowly and with plenty of rain. Sven arrived the night before, but by the time he got to the log cabin I had gone to bed. He had been up in Santiago for a meeting, so he covered somewhat more than 500 kms on Thursday.
With the morning tea and coffee, we got the news that I successfully slept through an earthquake of 4.7 magnitude on the Richter scale. The epicentre was some 20 kms from us and it was claimed to be one of the aftershocks of last year’s big quake. As the rain was persistently pouring, we had an extended breakfast and chat before we descended to the winery where Brendan was busy. He had consolidated the saignee into one tank so that it would be ready for fermentation. The tank simply got called ‘José rosé’ just for the sake of identification. We did pump overs, punch downs, Omar peeled some plastic off a new tank and we did some other minor, but important jobs before lunch in the cabin.
Lunch was a mix of Hungarian, Chilean and Dutch cuisines. Paprika mushroom, the veggie version of paprika chicken, mocked up with Chilean Merken Mapuche spices (roughly ground chilly and cumin mix) and cream; steamed spinach with garlic and cream for the Dutch and some crispy potato fried in a casserole. All accompanied by Royal Somló J 2009 from Hungary and Aylin Sauvignon Blanc 2010 from Leda and San Antonio Valley in Chile. A delicious combination of food and wine it was.
In the afternoon the rain stopped and we managed to race with the time successfully so that we had got through over 50 crates of grapes for destemming, selection and crushing before 6 p.m. It was only Brendan, Sven, Christian, Omar and I, because the day having been Good Friday, the labourers were off.
We washed down the processing line, cleaned up the winery and wrapped up the day whilst the sunset was showing the beautiful landscape at its best: the golden sunshine rolling across the hills, the vine leaves turning into autumninal shades and just the sense of freshness and freedom. A gorgeous view which easily captivates the eyes of the beholder.
For dinner we went out, so all of us got washed and orderly. After half an hour’s drive, we arrived at an old farmhouse, which functioned as an Italian restaurant just on the outskirts of Santa Cruz. A hospitable tone of Californian voice welcomed us. A charming American lady, who had been living in Chile for a long time, as she preferred to put it instead of giving the number of years. A pisco sour, the traditional drink mixed from Pisco, crushed ice and plenty of lime juice; set the dinner going. It was followed by a selection of lovely anti pasti, various mains and a bottle of Carmenere.
We had got back to Polkura around midnight and quite appropriately we finished the night off with Királyudvar’s 2006 vintage 6 puttonyos tokaji aszú and Pendits 2000 vintage tokaji aszú essencia. Both wines impressed Sven and Brendan and put my mind to rest that people of taste do appreciate tokaji wines.