Vintage Chile

A bottle of Carmenere red wine from Chile, consumed in Whistler, BC—a dream of an Andean adventure. Chad Chomlack, JF Pelchat and Helen Schettini join Manuel Diaz for a tour through the central Andes and the Chilean coast, letting the whispers of the land lead their adventures along the way.

It began over a bottle of wine. JF Pelchat and I, both in our 40s and married with kids, had recently joined our local wine club here in Whistler, BC. Of course we did—we are always looking for ways to dignify our thirsts and it is the grownup version of the Wildcat days. On this particular night at wine club, the Andean wines of Chile and Argentina were being showcased. The night of tasting was fantastic, but one specific bottle stood out to us: Koyle, a Carmenere from Chile. Afterwards, we bought a bottle of it and sat with the wine presenter, Megan, chatting about the wine and Chile for the next hour. Thus, the idea: combine a snowboard trip with a wine tour—to visit Cristóbal Undurraga at Koyle Vineyard and ride the Andes. We would bring Helen Schettini and link up with Chilean local Manuel Diaz and seek more than just August powder.

Good Wine is a symbol of a good life lived. When you drink a good wine you participate with it, building a relationship or a connection, so to speak. It’s the same in the mountains—when you let the terrain and the snow conditions define your riding, you find flow. Our journey to Chile was all about letting go and participating in what our environment provided each day; about relinquishing control and following a loose plan, while letting the whispers of the land lead us…

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