Going Organic at Emiliana in Casablanca Valley
If you’re visiting Santiago, you’re most likely going to do some wine tasting. We did a lot of wine tasting outside of Chile’s capital city. It was amazing. Every winery has its own unique attributes. But, one of our favorites is a winery in Casablanca Valley known for being a leader in organic wine production. Emiliana is a 100 percent organic and biodynamic vineyard.
EMILIANA’S APPROACH TO WINE
When you first arrive at the tasting room, you immediately see differences compared to the average winery. Of course, as far as the eye can see, there are rows and rows of grapes. But, then you begin to see small gardens. Then chickens. Then llamas. We knew these plants and animals weren’t random, but we didn’t know how they fit in with making wine.
As our guide showed us around the grounds, we realized that everything at the vineyard played a role in the biodynamic and organic wine production at Emiliana. Biodynamic agriculture is a type of organic farming that focuses on conserving the natural balance of the land and minimizing outside influences or human interaction in order to protect this balance. Emiliana uses a biodynamic calendar, which follows astronomical cycles of the sun and moon, to produce the best quality grapes. It also uses a variety of natural mineral composts and manures on the soil, instead of artificial chemicals.
WHEN GOING ORGANIC, GO BIG OR GO HOME
You won’t see the traditional barrels or machinery during the winery tour, but you will understand why each row of vines has a special flower or plant next to it. You’ll know why certain animals are roaming around the grounds. I could explain every detail here in this blog post, but I’d rather keep it a mystery so you can discover it for yourself in Chile.
But, as people who are conscious of the products and food we consume, we think Emiliana is a breath of fresh air and a more environmentally-friendly and healthy approach to wine making. No tour is complete without a tasting. Our session included four wines – two whites and two reds.
EMILIANA GIVES BACK
We also found one very special aspect to Emiliana that we wanted to share. Emiliana gives each of its vineyard workers a small garden to grow his or her own fruits and vegetables. That worker is then free to sell the produce or keep it. The important part is that the worker develops a skill set to make a living, while at the same time learning about organic and biodynamic produce. We thought that was a very cool way to give back to the community and the workers!
The good news? If you can’t make it to Chile yet, Emiliana exports some of its wine to the United States. And if you’re looking to drink more Chilean wine (which you should absolutely be looking to do), check out our winery tour with Uncorked!