Carmenère has got a lot in common with Merlot; so much so in fact that the Chileans struggled to tell them apart for a while! Anyway, now that they know what's what they've done an excellent job of turning it into a top-notch variety with lots of ripe plum fruits to bring to a blend such as this Gran Reserva. It's a seductive wine whose palate positively explodes with supple red fruits.
For successful organic farming, Chile has many great natural advantages. Flanked by the Andes to the east and the Pacific to the west, this long, narrow, remote land enjoys a geography and climate uniquely well suited to organic farming. Founded in 1986 by the local Guilisasti family, Emiliana Vineyards is a privately owned initiative dedicated to producing wines crafted from organic grapes. The progressive conversion of Emiliana’s estate vineyards to organic viticulture began in the mid-1990s. Today, Emiliana’s vineyards total 2,812 acres covering a diversity of regions including Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca, Bío-Bío, Cachapoal and Limarí. Collectively, Emiliana constitutes the single largest source of estate-grown organic wines in the world. To further underline their commitment to organics, the Guilisasti family engaged the skills and experience of the celebrated winemaker Alvaro Espinoza in order to oversee the entire project.
At Emiliana, the organic vineyards teem with life which provides a natural and effective defence against common vine pests. The use of chemicals is shunned, in favour of natural alternatives. Compost is sourced from used grape skins and stems. They also have hens, geese and alpacas roaming the vineyards. After more than two decades, what began as a dream, today is reflected in a complete portfolio with important national and international awards. The whole team at Emiliana firmly believe that by working with sustainable, organic, and biodynamic agricultural practices, it is possible to obtain better-balanced, healthier, and more productive vineyards, which results in better quality grapes and therefore unique wines. 'For us, care for the environment and respect for our employees and the community are essential.'
Emiliana was also certified Carbon Neutral for the first time in 2008, after employing methods such as reducing their packaging, investing in solar panels and running their tractors on biodiesel. However, their biggest commitment is to the people that work for them: as well as being IMO-certified, meaning their staff is guaranteed a fair wage and fair treatment, they also offer employees scholarships to universities and colleges, and allotments on which they can grow their own fruit and vegetables.