Casablanca Valley is a wine-growing region of Chile, and it is part of the Aconcagua wine region. The valley is only 30km away from the Pacific Coast of the Valparaíso region and close to the city of Valparaíso. Differently from the other sub-regions of the Aconcagua wine region, the Casablanca Valley produces a remarkable Chardonnay together with high-quality Chilean reds. From the Casablanca Valley, it’s easy to reach the coast of Chile and profit from a sunny and relaxing day on the beach.
All You Need to Know About the Casablanca Valley Wine Region
History of the Casablanca Valley Wine Region
The Casablanca Valley is a relatively new wine-growing region. Indeed, the first vine rows were planted during the 1980s, when the Chilean economy was starting to bloom. Winemaking started late in this area because of the problems related to irrigation and draining. However, the expansion of the vineyards around the industrial town of Casablanca continued, and still go on. Today, vineyards dominate the Casablanca Valley landscape.
The Aconcagua wine region is mostly famous for its ruby-coloured reds, but Chardonnay from the Casablanca Valley is on its way to become Chile’s finest white. Among the reds, Pinot Noir and Syrah are the most planted grape varieties in the Casablanca Valley.
Terroir of Casablanca Valley
The Casablanca Valley wine-growing region takes advantage of the effect of the Humboldt Current, which moves from the Antarctic through all the Pacific coast of Chile. This provides cool afternoon breezes and mitigate the climate of the Casablanca Valley. Indeed, the warm air rising in the east creates a warm and dry environment that without the chillier Ocean air wouldn’t be ideal for vines.
The sandy clay soil is quite homogenous in the Casablanca Valley wine region. However, due to the dry daytime climate, the soil is not suitable for free draining; this might cause some problems to winegrowers.
Pinot Noir has a deep, dark, ruby and violet colour, with notes of red berries and cherries. This wine ages in barrels made from French oak, which give the Pinot Noir a soft taste of vanilla and spices. The silky texture of the wine is due to a delicate body, a good level of acidity and smooth tannins. Pinot Noir from the Casablanca Valley wine region also exists in the rosé version. Pinot Noir Rosé is characterised by red fruits aroma and refreshing notes of green tea.
Syrah is a stronger wine, very dark in colour with very clear aromas of blackberry. This Casablanca Valley wine is characterised by chocolate and coffee aftertastes, together with a mineral note.
Among the Casablanca Valley wines, the medium-bodied Chardonnay is an absolute excellence. The most noticeable aromas are those of popcorn and white fruits, such as melon and apple. These flavours give the wine a distinguished acidity, that leaves on the palate a citrus aftertaste.
The Attilio & Mochi winery was founded by a Brazilian couple in 2011. They started with a small vineyard with 8 grape varieties and since then they’ve been producing high-quality wines. The couple controls every single part of the process, from the hand-picking of the grapes to bottling. The grape varieties grown at the Attilio & Mochi winery are the typical ones of the Casablanca Valley wine-growing region and the Aconcagua wine region.
Places to Visit in the Casablanca Valley Wine Region
City of Valparaíso – The Bohemian Side of Chile
Colourful, vibrant, historical. These are only three of the many adjectives that can be used to describe the stunning city port city of Valparaíso. Before the Panama Canal was opened, the second biggest city in Chile was also the second most important port of the American Pacific Ocean.
Valparaíso is characterised by an infinite number of narrow steeped streets, that can be reached with one of the many cable cars. The bright coloured streets are the main attraction of the city, full of graffiti and mosaics. When visiting, be sure to stop in these streets to see the best artworks: Hector Calvo, Elias, Atahualpa, and Carillo Armstrong to get the perfect view of Valparaíso.
Valparaíso was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. To better discover and understand what made UNESCO decide to accept the city in its list, wander around the Conceptión neighborhood. Also, to shoot the most amazing photos, be sure to be at Hotel Brighton for the golden hour; you will have a front-row view of the immense Pacific Ocean.
La Sebastiana, Museo Pablo Neruda – Discover Valparaíso Through the Poet’s Verses
Valparaíso, //qué disparate//eres, //qué loco, //puerto loco, […] (Valparaíso, what an absurdity, you are, how crazy: a crazy port.)
With these words, the famous Chilean poet Pablo Neruda described Valparaíso in his Oda a Valparaíso. The strong connection between Neruda and the port city is clear, in fact, he bought a house there in 1959. Neruda used to spend every New Year’s Even in the Sebastiana house, which today is a museum dedicated to Neruda and its work.
The La Sebastiana house opened to the public in 1992, and it’s now considered a National Monument. The goal of the Foundation that manages it, it’s to keep the poetic and artistic legacy of the greatest Chilean poet alive.
Baburizza Palace – Art on Art
Among the many eclectic buildings that you can encounter around Valparaíso, one you cannot miss noticing is the Art Nouveau Baburizza Palace. The palace was built by an Italian family living in Valparaíso and purchased by the investor Pascual Baburizza in 1925.
Today, this gorgeous house hosts the Valparaíso Fine Arts Museum. The Museum first opened in the Baburizza Palace in 1971. It includes works by national artists but also a collection of European paintings from the 19th and the 20th centuries.
Nature to See in the Casablanca Valley Wine Region
Reñaca Beach – Spend Your Holidays Like a Real Chilean
Reñaca Beach is located right outside the city of Viña del Mar and it’s one of the most popular and bigger beaches in Chile. Reñaca Beach is the perfect place for a fun beach holiday. Indeed, many people from Santiago come here for weekend gateways and to relax during the summer.
Reñaca Beach grew exponentially in recent years and is now an immense beach divided into 6 zones. The breeze coming from the Pacific Ocean makes the beach profitable even on the hottest summer days.
The National Botanic Garden of Viña del Mar – Tree Paradise
The city of Viña del Mar, located very close to Valparaíso, is nicknamed La Ciudad Jardin (the Garden City). As a matter of fact, the National Botanic Garden of Chile was opened right in this green city.
The Garden was opened in 1951 and not it counts an area of 395 hectares. 32 hectares of the Garden are covered with more than 280 species of trees, among which there even are extinct species, a collection of plants from the Chilean Myrtacheae, and trees and plants form the Juan Fernandez archipelago.
Las Torpederas Beach – Where all the Locals Go
Located in the metropolitan area of Valparaíso, the Las Torpederas Beach is a small, cozy beach. Normally, the beach is used by the residents of the Playa Ancha neighborhood, and it’s not very popular among tourists.
Las Torpederas Beach has all the types of facilities, that’s why it’s the perfect place to spend a relaxing day swimming in the Pacific Ocean and sunbathing; maybe after long days walking up and down the streets of Valparaíso.
Food to Try in the Casablanca Valley Wine Region
Paila Marina – Fresh from the Ocean
The Paila Marina is a popular Chilean fish soup served in an earthware bowl. The ingredients are shellfish stock, various types of fish depending on what is freshly fished, shellfish, peppers, herbs, and spices.
This hot dish is very popular in seaside locations and cities near the Ocean, where restaurants and citizens can easily get fresh fish every day.
Machas a la Parmesana – Native Chilean Clam
Macha is a saltwater clam that lives in the Pacific Ocean and it’s the protagonist of this very Chilean dish. The original recipe was created 50 years ago by two Italian immigrants who lived in Viña del Mar.
The dish is very easy to prepare but the result at the end is just spectacular. The macha is covered with parmesan cheese and butter, sprinkled with wine wine and lemon and then baked in the oven.