Casablanca Valley is located in central Chile, along the 68 Route that connects Santiago, the country capital, and Valparaiso, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
It has a very mild Mediterranean climate. Growing season is essentially dry, but the Valley is famous by the fogs the Humboldt Current brings during most part of the year. This is the key influence factor that keeps temperature so low in the region and causes a really slow maturation period to the grapes.
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Syrah vineyards are placed at the western side of the valley, and because it is also the coldest sector, these grapes tend to mature some days later then the average.
The Sauvignon Blanc vineyard soil has a top surface of dark clay. The Pinot Noir is a mixture of clay and sand, with some granite, while the Syrah has a more granite profile, very rich in quartz.
Malbec and Cabernet Franc are clearly outsiders here, and some think it is crazy to grow later grapes in a so cool place. The vineyards are located at the eastern side, benefiting themselves with +2ºC daily average. Soils are in layers of loam, sand and granitic.
2011 Growing Season
A quite intense winter and heavy frosts in the spring gave way to a summer of moderate temperatures in the 2011 season. These conditions led vines to reduce their yields naturally, and grapes to develop their plenitude within two weeks of delay in relation to regular harvests. It was also a very dry year (210 mm), the third one in a row.
- Sauvignon Blanc: March 25th and April 1st
- Pinot Noir: March 29th and April 8th
- Syrah: May 9th
- Malbec: May 23th
- Cabernet Franc: May 24th