Emiliana: Único En Su Clase

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
Publication1vintages 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.

downloadThe 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! 😉

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Emiliana Organic Winery has been named, Winery of the YEAR 2015,  from Wines of Chile. This is the highest accolade a winery can receive from the governing body that over sees Chilean wines in all markets worldwide.

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Meeting a group of people from across the world, in my opinion, is one of the most interesting things. Hearing their life stories, learning about their cultures, their languages, while trying to visualize picture to better understand is truly invigorating.

This past week, I met 5 of the most warmhearted, friendly, intelligent, humorous people from Argentina and had the privilege of spending a great deal of time with them. They were part of the Bodega Norton Winery Team and had traveled to Toronto to work with our PMA Canada (Ontario) Sales Team to increase listings in LCBO stores and to discuss other business and marketing ventures for the future.

What is even better when meeting new people is finding out you share a common passion (in this case wine) and learning from them a great deal of new knowledge from a different perspective; their experience running a world renown winery in Argentina.

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I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of the days with Norton’s Winemaker, David Bonomi  heard all about his very interesting life.

David is a wonderful man. His zest for life is very refreshing as he is so passionate and in love with what he does and where he comes from. Although English is not his first language, he is still very clear and impressive and he does not stop until he gets his point across to his audience

David grew up in up in Mendoza with an Italian background. His family was already in the wine business, so he was inspired at a young age.

Living now with a family of four, his wife, 18 year old daughter, who is studying law and 13 year old son, David is a hard worker, over achiever and has many projects on the go.

David has succeeded greatly in the Wine Industry over the years. In 2002, he became Bodega untitledNorton’s Winemaker and worked beside Jorge Riccitelli, Wine Enthusiast’s 2012 Wine Maker of the Year, which he enjoyed very much.

A couple years earlier in 2000, David started his own winery, Perse also located in Mendoza. Perse has become very famous in some international markets and three of the 5 wines produced are currently on the wine list at the best ranked restaurant in the world, The Cellar Roca in Girone, Spain. Perse is absolutely beautiful, and 2 hectares big, ranked the most exciting project in Argentina!

His wines and his talent won him the title of 2015’s Best Young Winemaker from Argentina by the Gaucho Awards. The top three wines as well have been rated highly by famous wine critic, Robert Parker.







David’s wines include the following:




La Craie: Malbec (70%) / Cabernet Franc (30%)- 97 Points Robert Parker

Iublieus: Malbec (97%) / Cabernet Franc (3%)- 96 Points Robert Parker

Francesa: Malbec / Cabernet Sauvignon / Merlot- 94 Points Robert Parker

Gobelet: Malbec / Cabernet Franc

*Gobelet meaning: grown on a bush vine




David will be releasing a special Chardonnay in December 2015. This Chardonnay is very special because of its production method. Similar to Jura, Spain, to how sherry is made, the Chardonnay grows a Flor (a special type of yeast) This will give the wine neutral and mineral characteristics, a full and intense body and make it a perfect pairing to desserts and different cheeses.

I hope one day I will be able to try this Chardonnay! YUM YUM!

From 2004-2005, David left Norton to become Cheif Winemaker of Dona Paula, also located in Mendoza and very well known. In 2014 he returned to Norton and presently continues to work with Jorge. David’s father tends to Perse while David is at Norton.


I am looking forward to the day I get to travel to Mendoza to visit Bodega Norton and Perse and see David and the rest of the team again!

It was a wonderful, very successful week and I hope they have a wonderful harvest!

Their Philosophy

“Our greatest wish is that our wines express their origin as purely and as transparently as possible, with no intervention on our part other than that of the daily rhythm of the punch-downs”



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Tuesday at Michael’s

FullSizeRender-5 Bodega Norton, one of the fastest growing Argentinean wine brands in Canada has been exporting exceptional premium wines for the past 120 years. Located in the eastern region of Mendoza, at the foothills of the Andes Mountains, the winery continues to be one of the leading winemakers in Argentina.

Chief Winemaker, Jorge Riccitelli won Winemaker of the year in 2012 by Wine Enthusiast and the brand continues to receive high accolades for their Reserva and Privada labels. They are also the first winery in Argentina to include vineyards in the Quality Certification System.

This week, PMA welcomed 5 members of the Norton team to Toronto to participate in a #blitz. Our aim is to list more Norton products in LCBO and introduce the winemakers to our Toronto market.

The whole team is a wonderful group of individuals. They work beautifully together and could not be happier to be here with us.

Along with the team, we have Winemaker, David Bonomi who has been with Norton since 2002. I had the pleasure of working alongside him today and he had INCREDIBLE stories to share (stay tuned for the post entitled PERSE!!)

Tonight, was the first winemaker dinner for 3 of our Norton guests. I had the GREAT pleasure of attending the dinner located at Michael’s on Simcoe in downtown Toronto. It was a wonderful evening! Michael himself was very courteous and set up the dining room beautifully with the help of our PMA staff.

The restaurant is a fine-dining establishment, with a very modern, yet simply elegant ambience. There were 35 guests who joined and David, our host led us through each wine presented along with each course.
































































I have never eaten SO MUCH in my life! There were seven courses with seven pairings. All were exceptionally prepared and equally delicious. David was wonderful and personally went around to each table to greet guests and talk about the wines and the winery.







































It was a success and I am FULL! The team had a wonderful night and a great start to the week!


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