If you haven’t tuned into the latest road trip series with Ewan McGregor on Apple+, “Long Way Up,” you are missing out. The show features two long time friends, Ewan and his buddy, Charley Boorman, on their third journey from point a to point b on their motorcycles.
They did the first series, “Long Way Round” in 2004, followed by “Long Way Down” in 2007, and now thirteen years later, “Long Way Up” has just been released with episodes airing every Thursday. Comparing the first series with this one shows that with a bit of age we all get smarter, and hopefully more aware of the world around you.
Traveling with the two and the same crew they have used for each series we begin at the southern tip of Argentina, traveling north zig-zaging through Argentina and Chile, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc., ending in Los Angeles. It is two friends bonding, but this trip is so much more than that. The kicker for this trip is that it entirely exists on prototype Harley Davidson electric motorcycles, with their crew is driving tricked-out electric trucks. This reality is often challenging in third world countries that don’t have battery charging banks on every street corner, but the team agreed on the importance of showing that if you can do a trip like this all electrically, through crazy weather extremes and difficulties finding power, that we can become a world that does not need to rely on petrol.
If we haven’t figured it out by now, climate change is real and we need to take steps to protect our Mother Earth.
Set in the picturesque hillsides of Chile’s Casablanca Valley, Ritual Wines, and their sister winery, Veramonte, embrace similar ideas. Not far from the Pacific Ocean bringing cooling winds that sweep through the vineyards daily, creating an ideal cool-climate to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and racy, refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, Ritual crafts varietally correct, expressive wines with character 100% organically. Using techniques like composting, cover crops, and seeding the soils to revitalize them, and bringing herds of sheep through the vineyards to act as lawnmowers and natural fertilizers, the winery allows the natural tools nature provides to create the healthiest environment for their vines.
Utilizing various fermentation and aging techniques, including the use of concrete eggs, neutral oak, and stainless steel, and leaving the wine on the lees (yeasts) for up to ten months with frequent stirring, Ritual Sauvignon Blanc ($19) is a layered, complex with the luscious structure and balance.
Though the wine has this nice note of complexity and a touch of richness, the freshness and vibrancy of cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc shine throughout the wine, highlighting notes of white flower, lychee, juicy citrus, and soft herbs. A beautiful wine to pair with ceviche, grilled white fish, creamy risotto, and goat cheese.