big trip day 24

Wine train tour

We met up with our bus at 8am which took us downtown. Changed to another bus for a 1.5 hour ride to San Fernando. This was were we boarded the antique steam train for a memorable wine train tour. It was raining all day but it didn’t spoil the atmosphere and fun. The engine was built in 1913 and this tour had been going for a few years, with very little interruption. All I cared was, steam train! (resists temptation to go choo-choo.)

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The 1.5 hour ride was in a 1923 carriage, with dark wood and plush velvet seats. We’d been warned that it would be cold cos the train had no heating. Didn’t matter. Almost as soon as we set off we were treated to cheese and fruit. And then they came through with the wine trolleys. This was the Red Program II, so primarily we were served red wine. By the time we reached our destination of Santa Cruz most of us had a good 3 glasses already. I tried a Cabernet, a Cab/Merlot mix and an organic syrah. Nice.

We were welcomed by a folk dance by local children, then it was off to the Museo Colchagua, a private museum containing a lot of artifacts from all through Chile’s history.

Lunch was at the Hotel Santa Cruz Plaza, belonging to the same family and next to the museum. A pretty hacienda like hotel, and the sun peeked out just enough after lunch for some pictures.

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The final part of the program was a visit to the Viña Santa Cruz. I’m guessing it’s the only vineyard in the world that has its own cable car, indigenous village display, llamas and giant telescope.

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The actual wine tasting at the vineyard was a short affair — just a couple of glasses. The vineyard is only about 10 years old but it has an old name since the owners bought the brand name of an older vineyard. Main production includes syrah, carménère, cabernet sauvignon and malbec. Nothing too extraordinary, nice tasting.

An interesting six degrees type of tidbit is the astronomical centre has a piece of space junk — a part that fell off a satellite. The same satellite now sits at the Air & Space Museum at Washington DC where I was only a couple of weeks ago. Hee.