Meet Sharon – our Casablanca Valley expert

11 May, 2012

After leaving academia, Sharon, Ph.D. knew she would do something. Driving overland from Deadhorse, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina, led her in a new direction. The adventure started with a new iPhone and an interest in spas. By the time she reached Colombia, she was also drawn to food. Later, traveling through Chile and Argentina wine was added. With a Spaswinefood lens for her travels, she blogs at Spaswinefood and writes a travel column.


When did you discover your passion for wine?

    I think I was always been curious about wine. Also, during the last twenty years living in California, wine has been a part of my everyday life. However, it was during a visit to Chilean and Argentine wineries that I discovered my true passion for exploring and wanting to learn more about wine. For that reason I want to continue to explore Chilean wines and Casablanca Valley wines in particular.

    What are your key highlights of the Casablanca wine region?

      The Casablanca wine region is a Chilean Wine Superstar. This wine region has gained the attention of Chile and the world in a short time. Given that wine production only stated in the mid-1980’s and now Casablanca wines are known throughout the world, this is pretty amazing. Beyond its superstar wine status visiting the Casablanca Valley wine region means you can also explore Santiago, Viña del Mar/Valparaiso and other nearby wine regions.

      When are the best times to visit Casablanca?

        While the wineries are open year round spring through fall in the southern hemisphere is the ideal time to visit. For those of us who live in the northern hemisphere where the seasons are reversed this perfect timing to plan a getaway to Chilean wine country.

        Do you have a personal favourite winery in the region and if so why?

         The Casablanca Valley has some impressive wineries. However, if I have to pick a favourite it is Viña Indómita. Viña Indómita is perched high on a hill overlooking the beautiful Casablanca Valley. It has a spectacular view of the valley. The great view along with its excellent wines and cuisine makes it hard to beat. I would return to winery in a heartbeat.

        What is a traditional local wine and food pairing dish?

         Wines of Chile offers some great suggestions on wine pairing. Chile is well known for its high quality fish and Casablanca for its great wines. Many of the wine and food-pairing suggestions are with fish. Basically they suggest Ceviche and Sauvignon Blanc. Should the Ceviche include Salmon then a unoaked Chardonnay makes a perfect pair. Add ginger or a spice then maybe a Pinot Noir. If you do not like Ceviche Wines of Chile offers other suggestions. I recently discovered some wonderful videos of cooking demonstrations with Marcus Ansems, Hemispheres Wine Guild, which offers great suggestions on wine pairing with Casablanca wines.

        Finally, what would be your top 3 tips for the keen wine traveler?

         My three tips are:

        1. A visit to Casablanca Valley is a perfect introduction to Chilean wines. This Chilean superstar is a must visit.

        2. In addition to visiting Casablanca Valley wine region side-trips to Santiago and Viña del Mar/Valparaiso can be easily fitted into the visit.

        3. Moreover, Casablanca Valley is close to Chile’s other wine regions. This makes visiting Casablanca Valley wine country the icing on the cake.

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