A Norwich man has created what he believes to be the world’s first “sacrificed” wine – and the very first tasting is coming up.

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Ian Hutcheon, who grew up in Hellesdon and now runs Tremonte Vineyard in Chile, said he decided to develop the unique drink after being inspired by the past customs of indigenous groups he has learnt about while travelling around South America.

“Four hundred years ago and beyond, indigenous groups in South America such as the Incas used to sacrifice animals, humans and valuable artefacts on the summits of mountains in request for a good harvest and to avoid tragedy. Via our wine Sacrificio this culture has now been restored in 2012,” said Mr Hutcheon, 40, who previously invented what he believed to be the first wine aged with a meteorite formed during the birth of the solar system.

He said each bottle of Sacrificio – which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah aged in French oak barrels for 12 months – is wrapped in a cloak and nailed into an individual coffin before being taken to the summit of Mount Tunca which is near to Mr Hutcheon’s vineyard and his astronomy centre, Centro Astronomico Tagua Tagua.

The wine is left to the mountain elements throughout an entire winter.

Mr Hutcheon said at the moment there are about 200 bottles of the wine hidden at the mountain’s summit, and that from the southern hemisphere’s spring equinox on September 22, people wanting to buy a bottle of Sacrificio will be able to climb the mountain and find and unearth their bottle using a map.

He said each bottle has its own individual map, and the climb up the mountain should take people between two to three hours for a round trip.

“It is a stunning mountain, which although a tiring hike, is accessible. At the summit is a large natural structure known as Eagle’s Rock where huge Chilean blue eagles live, plus several species of falcon including the peregrine. The area is also home to massive vultures, wild horses, goats and a large array of tree and plant life. There are also dinosaur prints on the sides of huge vertical rock faces,” he said, adding that for those people who do not wish to make the climb some of the bottles will be dug up and brought down from the mountain for people to purchase at Centro Astronomico Tagua Tagua.

September 22 will be the first unearthing of Sacrificio, and Mr Hutcheon said he was looking forward to tasting the wine.

“At the end of the day we are leaving wine up the mountain amongst all the elements over the winter and who knows what effect that will have?” he said.

“We are going to blind taste Sacrifico with wine that has not been ‘sacrificed’ to see if there is a difference.”

Mr Hutcheon, who grew up in Clovelly Drive, Hellesdon, spent many years travelling extensively around South America before settling in Chile.

In 2007 he launched his own observatory which went on to become Centro Astronomico Tagua Tagua, and in July 2009 he bought his vineyard.

He is married to Karen and has two children – Emilia, two, and one-year-old Max.

Mr Hutcheon often returns to Norfolk to visit his parents Brenda and David Hutcheon, who live in Worstead, and his sister Louise and brothers Paul and Steven also live in the Norwich area.

For more information on Mr Hutcheon’s vineyard and astronomy centre visit www.tremonte.cl and www.centroastronomico.com

Are you involved in an unusual new project? Call reporter Emma Knights on 01603 772428 or email emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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