Casablanca is located just an hour north-west of the capital of Chile, Santiago. It is an east-west-oriented valley roughly 19 miles long which has gained recognition as one of Chile's quality wine regions. Its climate is strongly influenced by the cooling effects of the Humboldt current, which flows up the west coast of Chile from the Antarctic. Morning fog rolls in from the ocean, bringing cool air and much needed moisture to the valley. Consequently, it is best known for its crisp white wines, most notably Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir. The region is quite young, only being planted for the first time in the 1980's, and shortages of water for irrigation limits expansion in this fast-growing region. In acknowledgment of similarities between Casablanca and California's Napa Valley, the two valleys signed a viticultural alliance in 2002. This prompted Casablanca to develop a wine route and develop tourist attractions in the area, unusual to Chile.
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