You may think all I do in Chile is ride my bike and drink wine. Not true!
Well, OK, it’s mostly true.
MOVInight on Nov. 11 introduced me to a whole new world of Chilean wine. Up to now, I was more than thrilled to fill my supermarket cart with “cheap and cheerful” Chilean wines. (I have read that phrase on several websites, but I don’t know who said it first.) Ten bucks gets you a pretty great bottle of wine in the grocery store – conveniently located next to the cheese aisle! That was good enough for me.
And then I went to MOVInight, a wine festival featuring independent artisans who shared wines crafted by their own hands and poured with love. These innovative producers comprise MOVI (Movimiento de Viñateros Independientes, or the Movement of Independent Vintners in English), an organization of 32 winemakers committed to making wine “on a human scale.”
According to a 2015 article on the website Grape Collective, three huge winemakers sell four out of five bottles of Chilean wine. MOVI was formed to help the small family winemakers access resources and manage marketing.
MOVI is an important addition to the overall Chilean wine industry. There is something very underdog about them in a country where the big dog is very dominant. How can a wine lover not embrace passionate family winemakers making heartfelt artisanal wines from old vines. Now compare the story of the mass produced industrial “value” wines – which is sexier David or Goliath? When we met with Chilean wine pioneer and President of Wines of Chile Aurelio Montes, he was glowing in his praise of MOVI. While they are not fee paying members of Wines of Chile, Montes was keen to point out that they are invited to press events as their story is an important part of the narrative of modern Chilean wine.
As far as wine festivals go, MOVInight felt particularly whimsical and lively, maybe because the winemakers were so eager to share their stories. At the entrance, we received a wineglass for the myriad samples of vino. Food trucks, peppy music, a backdrop of mountains, and well-appointed port-a-potties contributed to an evening of tipsy laughter.
My favorite wines of the night were Villard Syrah 2015 and Flaherty Red Wine (a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo) 2014. But, hey, it’s a pretty rare wine that doesn’t make me happy.
The only bummer about being a wine snob is that I can’t find these MOVI brands at the supermarket. However, I just discovered La Vinoteca, where I can shop for wine online and get free delivery with orders over 19,900 pesos (about $30). Whew!
For more on MOVI, check out this short documentary.