Levantando Chile!   •   Comments »

For nearly two months now we have featured Chilean wines at both Nopa and Nopalito. Our goal was to remind our guests that many communities in Chile are still in need of help and also to raise money for the Levantando Chile Fund. Between the two restaurants we raised over 4000 dollars and spread the word about helping Chile to thousands of our friends. We want to thank first and foremost our wonderful guests at Nopa and Nopalito. Without the willingness and interest of all of you who come in to our restaurants, we would not be able to do any of the great things we get to do. Thank You! Secondly, we want to thank all of the importers, distributors and wineries who supported the project via donations and the representatives who assisted us in finding and procuring the wines.

A special thanks to Agustin from Huneeus Vintners who was the one to come up with the idea to pour Chilean wine and donate proceeds to earthquake relief. Being a proprietor of a Chilean winery certainly must have opened his eyes to the needs of the country. He also donated wine to the project, which is doubly generous considering the losses his wineries sustained during the earthquake. We featured the Ritual Pinot Noir and the Primus Cabernet Sauvignon from Agustin's wineries. Thank you also to Kim Beto for all of his help with Agustin's wines.

Another special thanks to Mike Musgrove from The Varietal and Doug Griswold from Global Vineyard. They were very supportive in finding the right wines and in getting behind the project. They donated both time and product. We featured the Antiyal "Kuyen" Cabernet-Syrah blend, the Apaltagua Chardonnay and the Viña Maquis "Lien" Carmenère-Syrah blend.

It was great to feature the Miguel Torres "Cordillera" Cariñena-Merlot blend. This wine is unique in my mind, being the only bottling of old vine Cariñena that I know of from Chile. Mr. Miguel Torres Jr. himself was even able to come and visit with our staff and talk a little about his family and their wines - a rare treat. Thank you to the Torres group for their support and also to Craig Demko and Kieran Walsh from Wine Warehouse for getting the wine to us.

We have been pouring the Kingston "Cariblanco" Sauvignon Blanc at Nopalito since before the earthquake. It was great to have the folks at Kingston come on board without hesitation when we informed them of our intentions to donate to the Levantando Chile fund. Again, it is extra generous in my mind when a winery, which has most likely already sustained losses, chooses to give to help out others in the industry. Thank you to the great people behind the Kingston wines, and to Jon Bates for keeping the wine in good supply for us. It is far and away the best selling wine at Nopalito.

Thank you also to John Bigelow and all the folks at North Berkeley. The Chono Syrah may have been the biggest surprise of the bunch. The wine is classic cool climate syrah - lean and peppery, floral, high-toned and pretty - yet with a twist that can only be the Elqui Valley stamp. It is a gorgeous, elegant wine. Very exciting to taste syrah like that from Chile. I am looking forward to the second coming of Syrah.

Another really great wine was the Lapostolle "Cuvee Alexandre" Chardonnay. Evan Fletcher from Pacific turned me onto this great line of wines. They all showed a lushness that hinted at the new world but a balance that spoke of the old world. Thank you to Moet Hennessy for donating to our cause and to Evan for bringing them to our attention and for doing the legwork for the donations.

And finally there is the Los Vascos Cabernet from the Domaine Baron de Rothschild (Lafite) and Pasternak Wine Imports. They donated wine to our project and of course the name lends a certain validity, which is nice. Also thank you to Brian Springer from Epic Wines for his help in finding wines and getting all parties on board.

It has been fun to pour wines at Nopa from a completely new region of the world and to be able to give back to others in our industry who are in need. From the beginning one of our primary goals at Nopa and Nopalito has been to build sustainable community. It is our hope that we have spread the word to our immediate community of people about the rebuilding still very much taking place in Chile - and that our financial contribution will assist a few people in our larger community to get back on track.


Posted June 23, 2010 • Filed under Wine,

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