Who: Loma Larga Vineyards. Meaning "long hill" in Spanish, their name reflects the terroir-driven wines.
Where: Chile's Casablanca Valley, 45 km southeast of Valparaiso, on the way between Valpo and Santiago.
Wine: Malbec, Sauvignon Blanc, Cab Franc, Merlot, Syrah.
Their second label is Lomas del Valle, which are less oaked and more fruit-driven.
Why: On the way back from Valparaiso, we made a reservation at Vina Loma Larga, which is tucked away in Casablanca's countryside. The tasting room manager, Alejandra, gave us a superb tasting of their Malbecs. Known predominantly around the globe as a Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir region, Loma Larga is the only vineyard to produce Malbec in Casablanca. Due to the location of the hills surrounding the vineyard, it has a special microclimate for the area. Alejandra gave us a thorough history of Valparaiso throughout the tasting. Many central and Eastern Europeans settled in the Casablanca and Valparaiso regions, including Alejandra's family, and brought their winemaking traditions with them.
As with all Chilean wine estates, make a reservation for a tasting or tour at least 24 hours in advance. Open 7 days a week from 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM.