Pablo Morande (photo courtesy of Nash Wines)
In 1982, Pablo Morande, one of Chile’s most influential winemakers who was then the chief oenologist at Concha y Toro, discovered the potential of Casablanca Valley as a viticultural region. Located 30km from the coast, Casablanca Valley had been allocated to roaming cattle and no one then believed that the region had the potential to become an agricultural area. But after a trip to California’s Carneros, Pablo noticed the similarities between the two regions: the coastal proximity, the rolling hills and the cooling oceanic breezes. He conducted air and soil studies in Chile, but he was alone with his convictions. Every winery that he approached believed the area was too susceptible to cold and frost, and much too dangerous for planting.