|morning fog in an undeveloped part of the valley|
|a view of Casablanca from Indomita|
The soils of Casablanca are variable, but are typically a sandy loam on top of clay, sand, and gravel. Though phylloxera has not made it to the region (and some argue could not survive in the area) the valley does have an issue with nematodes, thus requiring the vines to be planted on tolerant rootstock. Casablanca is the only region in Chile that demands rootstock. Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay thrive here; most of the other red grapes contributing to wines produced by Casablanca wineries are grown in other DOs such as Colchagua.
Wineries in Casablanca tend to be relatively easy to visit. The valley only spans approximately 24 kilometers with the Highway 68 running straight through. The wineries are located along the 68 or along the wine route near the city of Casablanca. Most accept visits without reservations, but if you'd like a more personal tour reservations are highly recommended. Everything is closed for a 3-day period in December from the 7th to the 9th. This is the religious festival of Lo Vásquez, during which more than one million people make the pilgrimage from Valparaíso and Santiago to the Vásquez temple located just west of Casablanca Valley. Alcohol is not permitted to be sold or even shown during this time… they even cover all the wine in the tasting room with sheets!
|The church of Lo Vasquez, the endpoint of the Chilean pilgrimage.|