The Casablanca Valley is Chile’s top white wine region, known for its Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay white wines. In addition, in some cooler areas near the coastal part of the valley, Pinot Noir is popular. In recent years, winemakers have also experimented with a range of crisp, aromatic whites, such as Viognier, Gewurztraminer and Riesling.
The Casablanca Valley runs for 19 miles east to west from a coastal region near the Pacific to the neighboring region of Valparaiso. At any point, then, the valley is located no more than 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean, and this unique geography is what makes the valley’s wines so distinctive.
Casablanca may be located closer to the equator than any European vineyard, but it benefits from the moderating effects of the Pacific. In mornings, a cool fog rolls over the valley. In addition, there is plenty of cloud cover, mitigating some of the harsh summer temperatures. Grapes are able to ripen longer, resulting in much more intense and complex wines.
In recent years, the Casablanca Valley has emerged as a major wine tour destination, given its proximity to the Chilean capital (Santiago), the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Wine tours typically head to renowned wineries such as Casas del Bosque, Bodegas RE and Viña Tunquen Winery.
Given that the first vineyards were planted in the Casablanca Valley in the 1980s, the growth of this wine region has been truly spectacular. It is now known for producing some of the finest Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay in the entire country, thereby ensuring that Chile is known for more than just its famous reds.