We discovered Cono Sur Chardonnay in Cancun, Mexico, where the only accessible wines of any quality were Chilean. It was the highest priced chard in the store we frequented and it had a drawing of a bicycle on the bottle, so we bought some. It was a pleasant surprise to say the least.
Upon returning to the states, it proved difficult to find, especially when some restaurants decided it made a good house chardonnay. But we persevered. This is not an oaky, round California white, but a crisp, fresh, and fruity wine that stands up to oily meats and seafood as well as creamy pasta sauces.
For those of you who are worried about the global warming consequences of drinking wine shipped all the way from Chile, the winery is touting itself as the first to obtain carbon-neutral delivery status.
That means that CO2 emissions from the shipping of Cono Sur wines have been balanced to net zero through high quality greenhouse gas emission reduction projects.
The winery was also a pioneer of organic wine production in Chile and is clearly run by environmentally conscious folks.
The name Cono Sur comes from its location, the Southern Cone of South America, one of the southern-most wine regions in the world and a prime pinot noir region in Chile.
We've also tried the Viognier, and didn't like it nearly as much as the Chardonnay, but all the Cono Sur wines with the bicycle drawing on the label are under $10.
Cono Sur also has one of our favorite winery slogans: "No family trees, no dusty bottles, just quality wine."