Last updated on: Apr 25, 2020
When you tell people you’re visiting Casablanca, most people understandably think you’re going to Morocco. While Morocco’s Casablanca and Chile’s Casablanca are quite different, each has its own cherished drink. In Morocco, it’s mint tea, while in Chile, it’s wine. And a fabulous way to sample amazing Chilean wines is to visit a Casablanca winery for a wine tasting experience.
About an hour outside of Santiago lies the Casablanca Valley, a wine-producing region known for its white wines. Here, I fell in love with the largest organic winery in the world, Emiliana Organic Vineyards.
Not only is Emiliana an organic vineyard, it’s also biodynamic, which means it employs sustainable practices that leave the soil and environment as good or better than it was before.
Emiliana wines also have about 80% fewer sulfites than conventional wines, and I could definitely tell the difference. The wines were light and flavorful and were paired with chocolates and cheeses that were just as amazing!
I was so sad that they didn’t sell the chocolates and cheeses, too.
I sampled five wines during my Casablanca winery experience, including two whites, two reds, and their flagship wine Gê, a full-bodied red wine blend that is aged 18 months in biodynamic French oak barrels. The red wines come from the Colchagua Valley about 2.5 hours south of the Casablanca Valley.
The wines I sampled in their order were Adobe Reserva Sauvignon Blanc, Novas Gran Reserva Chardonnay, Novas Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, and Coyam, which is a blended red wine made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Malbec and Syrah grapes. It’s worth noting that Carmenère is a French grape that was nearly wiped out in Europe by a plague in the 1800s, so the vast majority of such wines are produced in Chile.
During the wine tasting, I learned that the term “Reserva” means the wine has been aged for a minimum of two years with at least 6 months in oak, and “Gran Reserva” means the wine has been aged for five years, with at least two years in oak. However, the aging times do vary between white and red wines.
The sampled wines had hints of different flavors, such as blackcurrant and truffle, and fruits, such as apricot, plum, and apple, while the cheese and chocolate pairings ranged in texture, and many had hints of pepper and herbs.
Many of Emiliana’s wines are sold worldwide under the Emiliana label, and you just might be able to find them in your local supermarket.
Aside from conventional wine, chicha is perhaps the most iconic drink in the country. It’s a wine typically made from grapes or apples, and it tastes like apple cider. Though chicha wasn’t served at the vineyard, I did try it at a nearby local restaurant.
Have you done a Casablanca winery tasting or wine tasting in another part of the world? Tell us your experience in the comments!