The leading members of the marketing and winemaking team at Viña Maipo tell us details of their childhood Christmases and how they intend to keep that spirit alive today.
Max Weinlaub, Chief Winemaker at Viña Maipo, Verónica Hahn, the winery’s Marketing Manager and Manuel Infante, Brand Owner, agree on saying that one of the things they most long for since they were children, is that nervous expectation of seeing Santa Claus arriving to leave the presents under the tree. “That day, me and my brothers got up very early hoping to find him. In fact, for a quite some time I was convinced that I had really seen him!”, laughs Manuel.
Max, on his side, remembers that he and his sister used to leave cookies and a glass of milk for Santa Claus for him to have energies for his journey around the world delivering presents: “We wanted to see him and ask him many questions, but sleep finally overpowered us. The next day, we woke up early, found the empty plates and glasses on the table and told ourselves ‘it doesn’t matter, next year we’ll succeed,’” the winemaker recalls with amusement.
For Verónica, and ever since she was a small girl, one of the things she enjoys most during these holidays is to decorate the Christmas tree: “I loved to unfold the pieces and figures that we, as a family, used to treasure. We waited during one whole year to admire them and feel that Christmas was getting closer.”
One of the things that makes Christmas Eve so special is sitting at the table with the family. “Every Christmas, my mother displayed her best chinaware and her finest cutlery. For dinner, we generally had a stew of juicy and slow cooked meet, with salads and potatoes au gratin as side dishes,” Max remembers, and goes on: “one of the things I miss greatly are those dinners at my parent’s home. Today we live in different latitudes and coming together like we used to, is not so easy anymore.”
Manuel, on his part, remembers how he enjoyed, year after year, the traditional roasted turkey with sauces and different side dishes, something he also likes sharing today with his family. “At home and with my children, I try to replicate many of the traditions that I experienced as a child and that somehow cheered up those days,” comments the Brand Owner.
The winery’s leader of the Marketing area remembers with affection the home baked Christmas cookies according to a German recipe of her paternal grandmother: “we all caught fight when it came to eating the cookies that were kept in tin jars.” At her home, food was also a very relevant issue and the way of doing it was to assure “it would be the longest possible night,” tells Verónica and goes on: “at Christmas Eve there was not just one dish but rather many different snacking choices, with tasty seafood such as shrimps and crab-legs, different cheese types, salamis and nuts, to end with the traditional stuffed turkey with apple sauce.”
All three agree that Viña Maipo’s ultra premium Syrah Limited Edition is ideal to pair with Christmas dinners, a wine that never disappoints during these holidays. “In recent years, Limited Edition has become the favorite wine of the guests with whom we have celebrated Christmas at home. Everybody likes it because of its expressivity on the nose, softness on the palate and great body,” Max describes it. “This special night deserves to be celebrated with a great wine,” adds Verónica.
For every child, presents doubtlessly crown these celebrations. Though according to Max “my letters never seem to have reached Santa Claus, because when I opened my gifts, these never agreed with what I had asked for,” but adds that “I was always pleased, for example, when I received my first fishing gear. For years I was really so happy fishing silversides (pejerreyes) with my first fishing rod,” he tells with joy. Verónica and Manuel didn’t doubt in pointing at the bicycles as their favorite presents. Her first bike was pink and decorated with Miss Piggy’s designs, and he received a cyclocross when he was nine.
At present, all three members of Viña Maipo’s team nurture the Christmas spirit in their homes as of what really marked their own childhood Christmases. “As a kid, I was taught that Christmas is not about presents but about being with the family, getting closer to those who are far, to thank for what life has given us and also for being generous with others. Now that I’m a father, these are the values that I try to pass on to my children,” closes Max.