Niek & Karin have drinks with Aurelio Montes

Niek & Karin have drinks with Aurelio Montes

'After a long day, I prefer to drink gin-tonic, to rinse the pipes clean,' says our high-spirited guest. At restaurant-bar-lounge MOMO, between Amsterdam's Leidseplein and Rijksmuseum, we had a drink with the godfather of modern Chilean wine: Aurelio Montes senior. - Text Karin Leeuwenhoek | Image Karin Leeuwenhoek + Montes Wines

Niek & Karin have drinks with Aurelio Montes

Almost 74 years old, but Aurelio Montes senior cannot resist working. And he overwhelmingly still has the passion and energy for it. He loves travelling, people and plants. And of his wife Bernardita, who faithfully accompanies him to Europe. Aurelio Montes was not only in the Netherlands to talk about his wines, but also because of another 'hobby' and business: growing peonies. He grew up in Santiago, Chile's capital, where he attended a school run by American Roman Catholic priests. So it was there that he learnt English so well, with such a chic old-fashioned Hollywood accent. 'The best legacy my parents gave me,' he says with a British sense of humour. Today, Montes Wines has 1,200 hectares of vineyards throughout Chile; from a bit above Santiago to the southernmost tip, Patagonia. And then there is Kaiken, their winery in Mendoza, Argentina.

By helicopter to the office

Aurelio: 'So I travel around a lot, luckily I really like that. And I fly my own helicopter. Very practical, because I can just land my suitcase anywhere. Patsboem, in my office, I could even land it on this table!'



Curious to find out more about Aurelio Montes? Read it in WINELIFE Magazine 78. You can order this one here!

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