Winery/Producer: Casas del Bosque; Casablanca; Valparaíso, Chile.
Appellation: Casablanca Valley, Chile, South America.
Location: Casablanca, Chile
Grape Variety Tasted:
Tasting Price: Unknown (it was included with the transportation cost if there was a charge).
Comments: We learned about the Casas del Bosque Winery when on a round South America Cunard cruise. This was our first Chilean vineyard visit and we had high expectations after our very successful wine tasting in Uruguay. The Casas del Bosque vineyard was located in the Casablanca Valley that’s about a 90-minute drive from the port city of San Antonio, Chile.
The vineyard is located in a broad valley that includes both the steep hillsides at the edge of the valley and the flat valley floor. Our tasting tour began in the vineyard where the different soils, terrain and exposure were described and the grape varieties planted in each unique area identified. The vines are drip irrigated and because of frequent late spring frost the entire valley floor was lined with wind towers that moved the air enough to prevent damage to the early spring growth. We were told Robert Mondavi identified this specific site and help locate the vineyard because it had characteristics of the Napa Valley; however we didn’t think it looked like the Napa Valley we know…the VERY dry Chilean climate makes California appear wet!!!
Our Casas del Bosque tour guide was very knowledgeable and really knew about every aspect of their vineyard and winery operation. He was so thorough I asked if he was a wine maker…actually he was both a tour guide and a restaurant manager for Casas del Bosque. After seeing the winery operation we were served two wines in the barrel cellar, a white (Sauvignon Blanc) and a red (Syrah), then we went into a store/tasting area where we could taste and buy any of the wines Casas del Bosque produced.
Pinot Noir Pequenas Producciones (17,000 Chilean Paso, $19.90)
Syrah Pequenas Producciones (17,000 Chilean Paso, $19.90)
Chardonnay Pequenas Producciones (11,900 Chilean Paso, $14.00)
Syrah Gran Reseva (9,200 Chilean Paso, $11.15)
Chardonnay Gran Reserva (8,200 Chilean Paso, $9.94)
Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Bosque (40,000 Chilean Paso, $48.50)
Recommendation from the tasting: This was really our first introduction to Chilean wines. At home we have had a few, but in almost every case they were rather inexpensive and of dubious quality. Right from the first taste we knew these were going to be good, and in the end we liked every wine we tasted and what we bought was limited to what we could carry back to the ship.
The tour was comprehensive and informative, It was a real treat to be able to taste every wine before we purchased it and our only disappointment was we didn’t get to eat at their award winning restaurant. I don’t know how we would ever get back to Casablanca, Chile, but if we did you can bet we would make an extra effort to visit and purchase wines again. However the next best thing is to find the importer in the U.S. that handles their wines, we found them to be all OUTSTANDING quality at excellent prices. This was our first real experience with Chilean wines and there is no question we’re going to investigate wines from Chile every opportunity we get. Both the Casas del Bosque wine tasting and their wines get a very positive TastedOnline.com recommendation.