Emiliana Winery

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Casablanca, Chile

Emiliana Winery Casablanca Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
534 reviews
Vineyard tour Oct 29, 2016
I have visited wineries in the past and I expected the tour of Emiliana to be similar, focusing on how the wine is produced. But no, this tour was rather different, and very interesting and enjoyable. Our guide, a long-term employee of the company, was evidently proud of their ethical organic approach and keen to share. He took us on a walk around the grounds, where we saw that approach in action.

We were a group of about ten visitors, most of them tourists from other South American countries, and the guide gave all the explanations in both Spanish and English. This made it a little slower perhaps, but gave us all plenty of time to take photos. We started with a visit to the nearest vineyards, with an explanation of the different varieties grown here and the organic and biodynamic principles they follow to ensure that they thrive. While I knew something about organic farming, I wasn’t really aware of the biodynamic approach, and reading about since in Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodynamic_agriculture) I have to say it sounds a bit way-out, but as our guide described the Emiliana approach it sounded less extreme (no cow horns were mentioned!) so I have a feeling they only follow certain aspects of biodynamics. On the winery’s website they say:

"Biodynamic is a comprehensive form of organic farming that heals the planet through regenerative agriculture.

For us it is essential to respect the three basic principles of biodynamic.

~ The land is a living being that has a natural balance. We firmly believe that human intervention should not affect the natural biological balance of the land, but preserve it.

~ The biodynamic calendar (based on the cycle and rhythm of the sun, the moon, the planets and their influences) is vital for our work; it’s our guide to organize different agricultural activities to obtain the best quality wines.

~The connection among the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms is also essential: we promote the use of biodynamic homeopathic preparations.”

OK, maybe a bit way-out! Incidentally though, the website itself is very nicely designed and worth a look (http://www.emiliana.cl/).

So we saw how they have planted different flowers and plants between the rows of vines, which are chosen to attract insects away from the vines and also to contribute certain nutrients to the soil to balance it out. We also saw how chickens and other fowl are allowed to wander between the vines, as they eat some of the insects who might attack them. They have small mobile chicken coops in which they move the fowl to different areas.

Near the vineyards we visited the enclosure where alpacas are kept. These are taken out each day to graze in a different part of the estate, helping to keep the grass between the vines and elsewhere short and also providing fertiliser. In addition, they are of course a cute attraction for visitors! They also keep cows for a similar reason.

Elsewhere within the grounds native plants have been planted and/or allowed to grow, creating “biological corridors” which help to increase biodiversity and encourage beneficial insects, birds, etc.

These native trees and flowers are naturally resistant to weather and other conditions here.

We also visited the vegetable garden where each employee is allocated a patch where they can grow their own crops, either to take home for the family kitchen or to sell. Employees also have beehives and again they can use the honey themselves or sell it (the honey sold in the winery shop is on their behalf). The estate also has olive trees; these line the main road and serve as dust-catchers but are also harvested by the workers who benefit from selling the oil that is made through the shop. We really liked the way the owner has thought about employee welfare and happiness, and from what our guide told us (and importantly how he told us) it seems genuine and effective.
In the vineyard
Wild flowers grow between the vines
Guinea fowl
Baby Alpaca
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Toonsarah says:
Thank you both :-)
Posted on: Jan 23, 2017
Another fabulous tip with outstanding photos. Well done.
Posted on: Jan 23, 2017
odiseya says:
Excellent review!
Posted on: Jan 23, 2017
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Toonsarah Toonsarah
534 reviews
Wine tasting Oct 29, 2016
Our tour of the Emiliana's vineyards concluded with a wine tasting in the ultra-modern visitor centre building. This has areas set aside for this purpose on the upper floor, both inside and out – it was a nice warm day so we were on the outdoor terrace. Downstairs there is the shop selling wine (of course) and also produce from the garden, as well as a pleasant seating area. Light meals are available if you want to have lunch here, or on the decking outside overlooking the grounds – I had enjoyed an excellent espresso here (which Sergio kindly bought me and refused payment!) while waiting for our tour.

But back to the wine tasting. Our tour, which cost 17,000 pesos, included a tasting of four wines (if you only want the tasting that will cost you just 10,000 pesos, but I do recommend the tour). You can also pay extra to taste their premium wines but they are a lot more expensive and we decided to stick with the four that were included. These were a rosé, a white and two red.

The rosé was their Adobe Syrah I believe (I forgot to note it at the time) and a very pleasant for outdoor summer drinking as an aperitif, I would say, though Chris was less keen than I was (he doesn’t drink much rosé).

The white was from their Novas Gran Reserva range, a Sauvignon Blanc, and was very good. The website describes it as:

"Greenish-yellow in colour. The nose is complex and fruity with notes of pineapple, grapefruit, and pears and a light touch of green chili and white pepper.”

The first red was also from the Novas range and was a Garnache/Syrah blend – very nice indeed, but eclipsed for us by the second of the reds which was Coyam, their signature wine – a blend of mainly Syrah, Carmenere and Merlot grapes, with also Cabernet Sauvignon and a little Mourvedre and Malbec. This was excellent, and very much to our taste. Had we been in a position to buy, this is the one we would have purchased. Of it they say:

"A deep plum-red colour with violet hues, this wine has an intense nose that’s brimming with fruit such as redcurrants, strawberries and blackberries. Additional notes of spices such as vanilla and liquorice emerge, accompanied by delicate violet touches.”

Although we didn’t buy any wine to bring home (not really a practical purchase when on a touring holiday with multiple flights), we were pleased to hear that Emiliana have a number of UK stockists so we will certainly be seeking their wines out in the future.
Introduction to the wines
Wines for tasting
Wines for tasting

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photo by: denisx