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article imageReview: ‘El Cuadro Ranch’ and Wine Museum of the Casablanca Valley, Chile Special

By Igor I. Solar     Apr 21, 2013 in Travel
Casablanca - Located in a privileged sector of the Casablanca Valley, “El Cuadro Vineyards” features an innovative concept in eno-tourism which recalls the history of wine-making and a sample of the culture and traditions of central Chile.
“El Cuadro Ranch” is very large estate with vast plantations of vines including productive strains and various sectors where experimental varieties are grown to evaluate and select those showing the best performance and quality under the local weather conditions and terrain advantages. Additionally, there is a strains’ garden for educational purposes showing over 26 varieties of wine grapes. Vineyard staff describe to the visitors the characteristics of soil and climate of the area, the modalities of irrigation, and how these factors influence the quality of the different grape strains.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; The grape strains  garden.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; The grape strains' garden.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the strains  garden.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the strains' garden.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; The guide talks about Gewürztraminer  an aromatic wine grape va...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; The guide talks about Gewürztraminer, an aromatic wine grape variety, used in white wines which performs best in cooler climates.
Among the activities that visitors can enjoy at “El Cuadro”, there is a tour by horse-drawn carriage through the vineyards accompanied by a narrative on the history of wine-making and the various planting techniques that have obtained worldwide recognition for the Casablanca Valley’s appellation of origin. Another activity in the vineyard is a demonstration of Chilean customs and traditions, including “huasos” (Chilean countrymen and skilled horsemen), horses and steers in a typical Chilean Rodeo accompanied by folk music and traditional dances.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Huasos  or Chilean cowboys  prepare to show their skills with th...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Huasos, or Chilean cowboys, prepare to show their skills with the horses.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley. Demonstration of Chilean Rodeo.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley. Demonstration of Chilean Rodeo.
There is also a wine-tasting hall, surrounded by towering raulí beech barrels where visitors may taste, appreciate and recognize different varieties of wines. Optional is a three-course lunch of typical Chilean food accompanied by all-you-can-drink wines.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley. Wine-related decorations at the wine-tasting Hall.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley. Wine-related decorations at the wine-tasting Hall.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley. Visitors can enjoy a variety of wines while the tour-guide expla...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley. Visitors can enjoy a variety of wines while the tour-guide explains the characteristics of the different wine strains.
One of the most interesting features of “El Cuadro” Vineyards is its Wine Museum. The display includes life-size human figures carved in wood, and a collection of original machinery traditionally used for the production of wine and “Aguardiente”, as elaborated in the cellars of the 1900s.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. A tour guide describes de operation of ancient m...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. A tour guide describes de operation of ancient machinery used in wine-making.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The supervisor monitors the operation of the mac...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The supervisor monitors the operation of the machinery.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Old copper vats used in wine-making during the 1...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Old copper vats used in wine-making during the 19th Century.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Life-size wood carvings show workers in various ...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Life-size wood carvings show workers in various stages of wine-making using old, artisanal equipment
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Labourers.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Labourers.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Laboures load grapes into a grinding machine.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Laboures load grapes into a grinding machine.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Labourers press the crushed grapes to extract th...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. Labourers press the crushed grapes to extract the grape juice.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The record-keeper.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The record-keeper.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The enologist.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The enologist.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The bottlers.
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The bottlers.
El Cuadro Ranch  Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The wine-making shop needs some tidying up at th...
El Cuadro Ranch, Casablanca Valley; Museum of Wine. The wine-making shop needs some tidying up at the end of the day.
The town of Casablanca and the Casablanca Valley are located 100 km north-west of Santiago, the country’s capital. Being only 20 km from the Pacific Ocean, Casablanca is strongly influenced by the favourable cooling effects of the Humboldt Current, which flows along the west coast of Chile from the Antarctic.
The Casablanca Valley developed as a wine-producing area in the mid-1980s. The extraordinary quality of the crisp, fresh wines produced here soon caught the world’s attention, becoming one of the top and most prestigious wine-producing regions in the country.
Related articles on the Casablanca Valley Region of Chile:
Harvest Festival in the Casablanca Valley, Chile SPECIAL
'Matetic Vineyards' — innovative wine-making by the ocean SPECIAL
Passion for horses: ‘Puro Caballo’ equestrian center, Casablanca SPECIAL
History, nature and gastronomy at quaint Quintay fishing cove SPECIAL
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