Casablanca is one of the coolest and newest wine areas in Chile.
Casablanca, located on the coast near Valparaiso, experiences cool morning fog and frequent cloudy days which slows the ripening process. Spring frosts are also a potential hazard here. Chardonnay is extensively planted here, most notably by Concha y Toro and Franciscan.
Officially part of the Aconcagua, it is quite different from the vineyards of the hot interior. Casablanca’s vineyards are cooled to Winkler Region I by cool morning fog, the result of the Pacific’s icy Humboldt Current, which has similar effects thousands of miles up the coast in Carneros in California. Frequent cloud cover slows ripening and reduces the average number of clear days to 180 as opposed to between 240 and 300 in the interior (mirroring the climatic contrast between Corners and California’s San Joaquin Valley).
The influence of the Pacific Ocean on the climatic conditions in the Casablanca Valley came to light in 1982 when enologist Pablo Morande (Concha y Toro) was the first to experiment in the cultivation of fine varieties on a 35-acre site and, by 1993, there were nearly 3,700 acres of vines thanks to extensive plantings (mainly Chardonnay) by both Concha y Toro and Franciscan. Spring frosts are a real hazard. Today, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir tend to do well here.
Soils are generally alluvial. To the south, soils of volcanic origin can also be found.
Vineyards that produce fine wines grow their grapes on simple vertical trellises or crosspieces. Very occasionally, the overhead trellis method is used.