Challenges and Opportunities of the Casablanca Wine Valley in Chile


Exclusive Report 

The Casablanca Valley in the Valparaíso Region in Chile in recent years has generated a great revolution in the national and international context for several reasons. Between them, the highlight on the sale of Viña Quintay and William Cole, the arrival of Bethia group that acquired Indómita, the arrival of Pablo Morandé father and son with Bodega RE, and the purchase of Veramonte by the Spanish of Gonzalez Byass.

The withdrawal of Agustín Huneeus-Chilean Vintner, owner of Quintessa and Flowers Vineyards & Winery in California – Veramonte property, generated a great revolution with the arrival in the Casablanca Valley of the Spanish group González Byass, which became the 65% that had the Huneeus family. The Rojas family was remained with 35%, which are the owners of the prestigious Viña Neyén that recently won an award as the Best Malbec in the world with parral of more than 100 years following from the Colchagua Valley, part of James Suckling.

The first amendment that Gonzalez Byass made was to open up to eno-gastronomic (food-wine) tourism, apparently Agustin Huneeus did not like business because, according to people in the vineyard a few weeks ago, he wanted to focus only on the productive part and more technical visits.

In this way, with the recent changes in its tasting room, Viña Veramonte began to have a mild competition around a place to eat something that is added to Bodega RE, which in its offer highlights the cooked pork meats, appetizers and snacks in the winery.

Another benefit that Veramonte has is being the first winery in the valley before the toll, which means that many people visit the vineyard to avoid paying the toll entering the valley and on the return, saving a good amount of money.

Veramonte is also laying down on supporting the entrepreneurship, since it is a sponsor of StartUp Chile in the Tech Evening events that are constantly held in the leading state-owned business accelerator in South America, with the aim of attracting potential consumers and having exposure in business of consumers.

As an unprecedented fact, relatives of Alejandro Weinstein acquired 81.86% of Viña Quintay of Casablanca, maintaining two of the former partners: the former minister Felipe Larraín and Hernán Gómez Soffia, withdrawing the partnership of José Manuel Urenda, Felipe Morandé, Peter Buerger, Felipe Aldunate, Edmundo Eluchans, the Macaire family, Pablo Gómez, Osvaldo Pérez Campino, Álvaro Rencoret and his family.


To compete better due to the difficulty of selling only white wines, several wineries purchased grapes in Maipo and Colchagua to bottle red wines (carmenere, cabernet sauvignon), and in this way, supplement their portfolio of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as many established Syrah in the cold areas, which had an excellent feedback, with examples such as Loma Larga, which was enhanced with the arrival of the enologist Tamara of Baeremaecker to Casablanca.

Tamara had worked in Viña Concha y Toro, and with her arrival, flourished to a large extent the enological proposal of Viña Loma Larga, considering her great background with specialization courses in Spain and several harvests in Burgundy, France. She had her career peak when he worked with enologist Enrique Tirado and the team that develop Don Melchor, the wine icon of the vineyard controlled by the Guilisasti family.


The excess of promotion on the road became a limitation for the new wineries that are operating in recent years, since the cherishment, they are prohibited from enabling signaling so that visitors can know their location, therefore, their positioning has been slower due to ignorance on the part of the users.

Obviously, there are independent wineries and vineyards off the vineyard strategy that follows the Casablanca Valley. This has generated small producers are beginning to articulate independently without having a very large impact on visitor flows, but they are already an offer that begins to make noise, both in the press and in the visitors who make their reservations via tripadvisor or booking

According to the Agronomist and Strategic Projects Consultant of AgroWine Lab, Maximiliano Morales: «Despite the struggle between the Port of Valparaíso and San Antonio for luxury cruises, the Casablanca Valley does not receive a large number of passengers from such ships, because strictly speaking, the ports are departure or arrival, making it difficult to coordinate visits to the wineries. This means that cruise passengers are usually in Santiago waiting to board a cruise, or are passing north and/or south, or are recalling after a journey that ends, therefore, fly out of Chile”

According to Sergio Bustos Cabrera: «The pending task of the Casablanca Valley is the boutique hotel development that slowly emerges in various sectors close to the vineyards, but in the absence of complementary events to the Harvest Festival and the current celebrations, the valley will never succeed like a wine valley that is a leader in terms of visitor numbers if we consider the close proximity to Santiago. It is necessary to professionalize the wine tourism activity even more, generate more thematic events, and generate flows from Santiago and Viña del Mar to the valley»


The valleys of Leyda and the sector of Lo Abarca, in addition to San Antonio, have had an interesting development winegrowing boutique due to the difficulty that presents the proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which generates lower yields of grapes, and therefore, must produce wines high quality and higher price that are demanded internationally, and have had great awards such as Viña Casa Marin, Matetic, Leyda, Garcés Silva, in addition to large wineries that have land with vineyards on the coast to complement their wine offer.

Without an uncertainty, Maria Luz Marin achieved after years of perseverance, that Lo Abarca is a renowned terroir for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah and other varieties that have positioned themselves globally. EnoTurismo (Food and Wine Tourism) is emerging and thanks to local parties, they have become an important name at the national level, which has had an impact on a global level.




Leave A Reply

Este sitio usa Akismet para reducir el spam. Aprende cómo se procesan los datos de tus comentarios.