Chileans are known for their delicious wine, and as a wine lover, I did not want to miss out on the opportunity to wine taste in Casablanca, Chile. Located between Santiago and Valparaíso, Casablanca is a perfect day trip from both destinations. However, since I am on a budget, and wine tasting is basically the bougiest and most expensive thing you can do while traveling, I needed to find a way around the expensive tours, which can run about $175 for two people, luckily we did and I am here to share our (obvious) secrets.
HOW TO GET THERE
In order stay within our budget, we decided to visit the wineries independently from a tour, and use public transportation. We strategically chose to visit two wineries in Casablanca, Bodegas RE and Loma Larga, which are located essentially off the freeway, and required less than a half hour walk between the two wineries and the freeway. In this post however, I will only be speaking to Bodegas RE winery review.
To get to Casablanca with public transit, you can take any bus from Valparaíso, headed toward Santiago. Since the bus going to Santiago from Valparaíso goes through Casablanca, all we had to do was tell the driver that we wanted to get out in Casablanca, and he pulled the bus over and let us out. The bus was 1200 pesos each, which is less than $2.
Our first stop on our wine tour was the beautiful Bodegas RE. Although the Casablanca Valley is a relatively young valley, first planted in the early 1980s, Bodegas RE is known for producing their wine in old clay pots, thereby utilizing the production methods of some of the earliest wine makers. This unique production method made visiting Bodegas RE completely worth it. The clay pots pictured above are treated to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week classical and soothing music. The vibrations of the music are supposed to help with the production process.
We chose to split a tasting of five wines between the two of us. This tasting, which was meant for one person, was 19,000 pesos, which is about $31. This leads me to my next point. Wine tasting in Chile is expensive. Unlike our Napa Valley or East Bay tastings, where you can get deals with certain credit cards, or buy bottles and forgo tasting fees, Chilean tastings are much more expensive and do not have as many loop holes. So just beware, regardless of how you experience Chilean wine tasting, the pricing is much more than what you are used to in the US. Now on to the fun part, the wines. Now, I am no wine sommelier, so I will be brief. The wines at Bodegas RE are blends, and they are famous for their Pinotel, Chardonnoir, and Syranoir. The flavors are so interesting and subtle, and I wish I could have bought a few bottles to take home.
Wine tasting in Chile is such a magnificent experience and as a wine lover, I would not want you to miss it. Since Casablanca is primarily a white wine destination, you can also go to Aconcagua, which is a red wine valley and another easy day trip from Valparaíso. If you want to explore wineries beyond Boedgas RE and Loma Larga, you can take a “collectivo” taxi for about 1200 peso, to other wineries in the area. We took a collectivo to Casa Del Bosque and again, Chilean wine does not disappoint.
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