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Sampling Santa Rita 120 wines in Belfast Castle

Friday, June 2, 2017

I was lucky enough to be invited to a Santa Rita tutored wine-tasting experience at a special event in Belfast Castle with Santa Rita 120 winemaker, Oscar Salas. Sample eight delicious wines and enjoy some foodie treats? Yes please!

Arriving at Belfast Castle, my guest Julie and I were treated to a refreshing glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the lawn. A great chance to mingle with other guests and enjoy the spectacular views from the castle. We were then shown into to cellar to take our seats ready for some serious wine tasting.

Oscar Salas, who was making his first visit to the UK, addressed the group to explain some of the history of the brand, which is one of the three oldest in Chile and explain some of the processes involved in it’s production. I will admit to being a Luddite when it comes to wine so I was fascinated to learn more.

Apparently, the Santa Rita 120 series of wines are named in honour of the 120 patriot soldiers who, in 1814 during the war for Chile’s independence, found refuge in Santa Rita’s hacienda after the battle of Rancagua. The cellars where they were hidden are still used for maturation of Santa Rita’s wines to this day.

TOP FACT- who knew that the difference between producing red and white wines is that with white wine, when the grapes are crushed, the skins are separated and only the juice is fermented. With red wine the skins, seeds and juice are all used?

During the event, we got to taste a wide variety of wines. My personal preference is for white wine but in Chile the general belief is that white wine is purely for drinking before red wine! That’s a new perspective for me.

In total, we got to sample eight delicious wines including the two new additions to the range, a Malbec from Colchagua and a Pinot Grigio using grapes from Santa Rita vineyards in Curico.

We were also treated to a delicious Caesar salad croquette and a Pan seared corn fed chicken supreme. Perfect for soaking up some of that wine!

If you haven’t tried a Santa Rita 120 yet, give it a go. You wont regret it!

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