AT A GLANCE:
Name of wine estate: Viña Casas del Bosque
Wine region: Casablanca Valley
Standout points: Hands-on winemaking experiences; eight-course tasting menus with a view at Casa Mirador
Winemaker: Meinard Jan Bloem
Wine style: Cool-climate New World wines in red, white, sparkling and late-harvest styles
A cool-climate jewel
Founded by Italian immigrant’s son Juan Cuneo Solari in 1993, and set among pine forest, olive trees and white adobe houses, Viña Casas del Bosque is a cool-climate winemaking jewel nestled in the heart of the Casablanca Valley. Located just 18km from the ocean and 30km south of the port of Valparaiso (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the estate has steadily become one of the premier oenotourism destinations in all of Chile.
Sea, soil and sense of place
Currently the estate has 235ha planted to vine. Reflecting Casablanca’s moderate, ocean-influenced growing conditions, these are all cool-climate varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The wines Casa del Bosque produces from these varieties have a distinctive sea salt character which the producers attribute to the special location and soils – red clays of volcanic origin sitting on top of decomposed granite layers formed 110 million years ago beneath the Pacific Ocean.
The great outdoors
While leisurely tastings of the estate’s diverse cool-climate range are thoroughly encouraged, the estate also offers ample opportunities for hands-on activities, and for exploring the great outdoors. During the warmer months, idyllic picnic lunches amid the vines or vineyard tours by horse-drawn wagon or bicycle are easy options. In addition, the Los Olivos dam, located in the middle of Casas del Bosque’s organic plantations, offers an oasis of peace in which to tune into the nature around you. For a more hand-on experience, become a winemaker for the day by blending your very own cuvée, or, during harvest, get stuck in with grape-picking.
The best possible taste
Casas del Bosque also has two lovely restaurants – Tanino and Casa Mirador. The former offers a more family-orientated experience while Casa Mirador, which sits atop a hill with a privileged view of the surrounding valley, offers a more gastronomic experience, with eight-course tasting menus designed around the estate’s wines. When the weather is fair, the Bo terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of Casa del Bosque’s traditional-method sparkling and reflect on how very agreeable life can occasionally be.