Emiliana Orgánico – Chile
Emiliana are a world leader in organics, famous across the world for their high-quality, sustainable, organic wines. Vintage Roots were the first to import these to the UK, way back in 2002.
Lance of Vintage Roots helping with blending ideas
Emiliana was established in the late 1990s, with lauded winemaker Alvaro Espinoza leading the winemaking and converting the conventional Chilean estate into an organic one capable of producing top quality wines whilst respecting nature.
They now base all their practices on two general concepts: the development of biodiversity and the absence of agrochemicals (pesticides, herbicides and fertilisers). Vine-growing is by its nature a monoculture, and ‘conventional’ vineyards using synthetic pesticides and herbicides can be worringly barren of life other than the vine itself. Organic and biodynamic vineyards such as those at Emiliana are notable for the abundance and variety of flora and fauna within their ‘monoculture’ vineyards.
One key measure was to introduce crops between the rows of vines (see above), which encourage birds and insects into the area. These can be managed to encourage desirable wildlife for natural pest control, circumventing the need for pesticides.
Fertilisers are replaced with natural composts, while weeds are controlled with animals such as geese, horses and even alpacas. The geese are housed in moveable ‘sheds’ with wheels, so they can be moved around the vineyards and released where necessary!
As well as organic viticulture, Emiliana take further steps to ensure sustainability through recycling, water and waste management, efficient energy use and environmentally friendly packaging. They also have world leading social responsibility programs, and are certified Fair For Life. They help their employees to form their own micro-companies to produce and sell herbs, vegetables, honey etc. They have educational schemes to teach children about the organic and biodynamic practices used in the vineyards, and the children are encouraged to help in the tree and flower nurseries. Intensive organic gardens are set up to provide employees with part of their family food supply.
One of the first wines that Vintage Roots imported from Emiliana was the 2001 Coyam, and we are now selling the 2011 – over ten years of a true New World Icon. This rich, luscious red is a favourite wine for so many of our customers, and receives regular plaudits and awards from critics. The 2001 was judged to be the Wine of the Show at the first Chile Wine Awards in 2003, while our current 2011 vintage received 93 Points from James Suckling, 91 Points from Robert Parker and a Gold Medal at the Berliner Wein Trophy 2014. It is biodynamic, sustainable, carbon neutral and best of all, utterly delicious!