The Chilean wine tradition dates back centuries, with the Spanish conquistadores bringing vines into the country during the colonial years (16th century). And the agricultural history should not surprise you when I say the first vineyards were situated in warm areas, close to a major river, thus in central valleys. Maipo Valley, for instance, close to Santiago, with the river Maipo running through it, and is the oldest wine valley of Chile. At first, these wines did not exactly possess award winning quality but a lot has changed throughout time and Chile has become a producer to be reckoned with on the global stage, in numbers as well as in quality.
Casablanca is, all things considered a very young and modern wine area. It is closer to the coast and thus the temperatures are on average cooler. And with the region not having a major river ruining through it, it is not the self-evident choice for a farmer to go. But with the combination of a pioneering spirit to try and farm in cooler areas anyway, and of modern technology such as irrigation, some vineyards were started in this area. And with success, with the soil and climate even contributing to some unique and great tastes.
And because stories like these are incredibly interesting, I did not only read about it earlier, but I was also extremely enthusiastic when the office organised an exploration of the area in the weekend. The program listed 3 wineries, all 3 with their own different product and approach. We were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery, some sun, insightful tours, tastings, time as a team and we visited 2 guesthouses for inspection. For me personally, the lack of product knowledge is the gap I am trying to fill as soon as I can by reading and studying, but a day like this helps tremendously. Also the Spanish language bath a day like this offers, is extremely useful. Getting to know the team better is of course always a good thing. And you know what, the rolling hills and endless views even reminded me of Africa once or twice.
Casas del Bosque
Matetic winery and guesthouse