This week, I had the fortunate opportunity of meeting one of the most lovely and knowledgeable wine makers from Chile, Noelia Orts. Dedicating her life and passion to Emiliana, a unique and remarkable Organic and Biodynamic winery located in the Casablanca Valley, Noelia spent the week in Canada travelling to different provincial markets promoting the release of Emiliana’s newest vintages by helping to educate employees on the winery, their mission and their unique wine making practices.
Noelia grew up in Spain surrounded by wine in her household. Enrolled in Agricultural Engineering in College led to subjects focused on wine which began her journey into the Wine Industry. Her favourite part was the food and wine pairing (I am sure many of us can agree with her on that!)
She worked in many different wine regions in Spain, then onto New Zealand and finally made her way to Chile where she fell in love with the originality of the country’s wine environment. She deeply admired the great knowledge many of the wine makers she met share, the variety of terroir that Chile has to offer and the freedom the country has to plant pretty much any grape variety they wish (unlike many country’s laws that restrict plantings of grape varieties other than their designated ones)
Noelia stayed in Chile and has become one of Emiliana’s world renown Wine Makers who creates some of the most beautiful, characterful and unique wines. Many of their wines and
vintages have won awards and have high accolades from highly regarded critics and Wine Magazines. Their Chief Wine Maker, Alvaro Espinoza was announced in 2015 as one of the Top 30 Wine Makers in the World by Wine Decanter.
In 1986 Emiliana was created and now for more than two decades, their wines are recognized nationally and internationally.
In 1998, they became a fully organic winery. All of their wines are made without the use of chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, etc. Instead, they use alpaca and roosters that run around the vineyard freely to eat pests, colourful flowers that grow in between vines to attract pests and bugs and natural fertilizers. Emiliana also maintain orchard farming and grow other organic crops such as tomatoes and olive trees.
By 2006, Emiliana became biodynamic. A rare practice seen throughout vineyards but one started by farmers who use holistic agriculture to enhance the quality and nutrition of their crops. Emiliana uses “the biodynamic calendar (based on the cycle and rhythm of the sun, the moon, the planets and their influences to obtain the best quality wines.” During different months of the year the winery will focus on growing and planting different crops, grapes, and vines and continue with what wine making practices are necessary at that specific time.
The sustainability the winery has established has created a better quality of life for not just their wines but for the whole community that encompasses the region. PMA is very fortunate to work with such an amazing place such as Emiliana.
During Noelia’s visit, she led the whole PMA sales team through an extensive tasting of some of Emiliana’s portfolio. Some of the wines are currently in the LCBO and other liquor boards throughout Canada, while others are to be released at the end of this year and early 2016.
The line up is listed below:
Adobe Sauvignon Blanc- Currently available at the LCBO
Signos White Blend (Chardonnay/Marsanne/Viognier) – Currently available at the LCBO – Rated 93 Points by James Suckling
Adobe Merlot- Currently available at the LCBO
Novas Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot- Released December 12th, 2015-
Rated 90 Points by James Suckling
Novas Cabernet Sauvignon/Carménère- February 2016 release
Rated 93 Points by James Suckling
Coyam Red Blend (Syrah/Carménère/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon)- Currently available at the LCBO- Rated 93 Points by James Suckling
Coyam is Emiliana’s flagship wine as it was their first organic wine (and it is absolutely amazing!)
Noelia had a very successful trip in Ontario and yesterday she travelled to Halifax to visit our PMA team there and see their market.
This winery is truly one of a kind and learning everything from Noelia has made me very enthusiastic about Chile and their unique wine making practices. Who knows, the next time I meet with Noelia, it could be in Chile at Emiliana! 😉