Anthony (referred to as AT from here on in) flew into Santiago where he was picked up by Cristian Rodriguez from Emiliana and whisked off to the vineyards at Casablanca which have just been given full bio dynamic status.
A bit about Emiliana: www.emiliana.cl
Rafael and José Guilisasti were visionaries in the late 1990s when they saw that the market was beginning to change and that consumers worldwide were becoming more aware of the products they were consuming, not only for health reasons, but also with respect to their social and environmental impacts.
They therefore asked winemaking consultant Alvaro Espinoza to join them in the process of converting a conventional Chilean winery into one that was 100% organic and biodynamic with the firm objective of creating wines of the highest quality with great respect for nature.
Now, after more than a decade, what began as a dream has become a complete portfolio of wines backed by major national and international awards and recognition and that meet the new need of today’s consumers.
They are now a totally Carbon Neutral operation with high profile visitors such as Prince Charles and Camilla praising their efforts.
On the way there Anthony quizzed Cristian about the upcoming harvest (dates confirmed since return):
Sauvignon Blanc: Started on 15th March and all in by the end of the month.
Chardonnay: Was due to be harvested in the beginning of April
Viognier: Ripens later, hence for true aromatics they wait till late April
Marsanne: Harvesting as we speak.
Points of note in the 2010 vintage:
Flowering and budding was 3 weeks late this year: Late November
This was due to the poor wet weather at the beginning of the season. Good warmth didn’t come this year until February!
AT Emiliana they reckon that the yield will be down 15-20% this year. The good weather they are currently experiencing however means that alot of the damage from the wet damp weather early on will be long forgotten by the time the grapes are picked.
**Pointer from the travelling Merchant himself** Always ask the winemaker about the yields, the marketing man will make it sound low and tough… to ensure their margin is protected!Google+