Wine Tasting and Tours in the Casablanca Wine Valley, Chile
The Casablanca Wine Valley, eastern end, is located about 75km northwest from Santiago. It has a good reputation for white wine varieties such as Chardonnay, but especially Sauvignon Blanc. Also, in this valley are several wineries open for tours and tasting and in addition to this are a few hotels that offer not only places to stay, but all-inclusive wine programs. Naturally, here at ExperienceChile.Org we work with some of these suppliers and can incorporate our partners into any itinerary we are creating for you.
It was during the 1980’s when grape vine planting began in earnest in the Casablanca Valley and has since gone on to become a major wine-producing area for Chile.
There are many positive aspects to the Casabanca Valley, and these are:
- That it looks attractive upon approaching it from Santiago, driving down the hill immediately after the second tunnel on the Ruta 68 highway, offering a view “from above” of the fertile, green, valley floor covered in grape vines as well as some green hills, contrasting with the other bare, steep brown hill sides.
- It contains numerous wineries open for tastings and tours that allow for a visit to more than one winery if your day is planned accordingly.
- It offers good tasting crisp, white wines.
- The location of the valley is either side of the Ruta 68 which leads directly to the interesting port city of Valparaiso (as well as Viña del Mar), therefore, it is possible to combine both a wine tasting and tour on the way to Valparaiso.
- It is very close to Santiago, therefore offering the convenient option of staying in Santiago and doing a wine tasting day tour (and as we have said above, to more than one winery, if so desired).
- It is strategically located close enough to Santiago airport whereupon it is possible to arrive to Santiago and go directly to a hotel in the valley or stay at a hotel in the valley on your final night and then get to the airport for your departure out of Chile.
Running in a west to east latitude the grape-growing area length stretches for around 30km. The valley enjoys a climate of often foggy mornings, where the cool air sits along the valley floor until the hot summer sun burns it off, as well as the maritime influence of cool air coming off the cold, Pacific Ocean further west. However, during the day the hot, dry summer air is ideal for the ripening of the grapes. Indeed, this climate combination is very similar to that found in California’s Napa Valley, which is almost a northern hemisphere mirror of the Casablanca Valley, but whereas the Casablanca has a great reputation for Sauvignon Blanc, the Napa Valley is a great reputation for Chardonnay.
The Casablanca Wine Valley is known for Good White Wine.
The Casablanca Wine Valley, as previously mentioned above, provides an ideal “terroir” for producing the white wine grapes of Sauvignon and Chardonnay, with the Sauvignon Blanc varietal wine regarded as excellent for its granite mineral, crisp freshness.
However, there are other grape varieties under vine in different sectors of the valley including Pinot Noir, Riesling, Viognier and even Gewurztraminer on the white side, and on the red side there is Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Climate, Weather & Soil
The soil in the Casablanca Valley varies from sector to sector, but it is predominately a mix of sandy, granite-clay.
The Casablanca Valley is at a latitude of 33 °S of the equator and would normally be considered not suitable for white wine grape production, but it is the cold Pacific Ocean (influenced by the very cold Humboldt current that travels up the coast of Chile from Antarctica) which is approximately 40km off the western end of the valley, providing cool breezes that come in and temper the otherwise very hot daily summer temperatures. In addition, there is a cool fog that sits on the valley floor, thus providing a balance to hot, Mediterranean-strong sun during the high summer days.
Vines are planted on both the flatter valley floor as well as the slopes of the valley hills. Those vines planted at higher altitudes on the hill sides will produce a slightly different end product to the ones lower down because they receive less moisture, but can also escape any frost. All these are factors that go into creating wines of slightly different styles.
It is this ideal combination that creates an almost perfect “terroir” for the cultivation of the white wine grapes mentioned: Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. These grapes enjoy a longer period in which to ripen, whereupon they can develop good complexity and flavour, while maintaining a good sugar to acidity balance.
Wine Tours and Tasting
Here at ExperienceChile.Org we will be pleased to include on your overall travel itinerary a day trip, or longer, to the Casablanca Wine Valley with the option to add on Valparaiso.
We can also include a stay at Valparaiso as well as an option, or in addition to, a stay at the Matetic Vineyard hotel for a short, or longer stay all-inclusive program.
Obviously, there is always the option of a rent a car and you drive yourself to the wineries, however, most people prefer to be driven, relax and enjoy everything as much as possible.
Within the Casablanca Wine Valley are these principal wineries that offer tastings and tours (as well as others not listed here). Some of these wineries are more commercial than others, but if you book a tour with ExperienceChile.Org, we will take you to the “more special wineries”.
Partner Wine Hotels
Remember, here at ExperienceChile.Org, we only work with selected hotels that we determine offer a certain level of accommodation, style, and service. We are therefore pleased to say that the following properties meet our criteria and chosen by us to be one of our accommodation partners.