Emiliana Ge (Certified Biodynamic) 2008
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Founded in 1986 by Chile’s Guilisasti family, Vinedos Emiliana is a privately owned initiative dedicated to producing wines made from organic grapes and, in the case of the super-premium Emiliana Gê and Coyam, made in accordance with biodynamic principals as well. Introduction of the debut 2003 vintage Gê marked the release of South America’s first ever certified biodynamic wine.
The progressive conversion of Emiliana's estate vineyards began in the mid-1990s. Today, Emiliana's vineyards total 2,812 acres in the regions of Maipo, Colchagua, Casablanca, Bío-Bío, Cachapoal and Limarí. Fully 1,470 acres enjoy official organic and biodynamic certification. The remaining 1,342 acres are ISO 14.001-certified and are transitioning to full organic status at a rate of 450 acres a year. Collectively, Emiliana constitutes the single largest source of estate-grown organic wines in the world.
To underscore their commitment to making world-class organic wines, the Guilisasti family recruited consulting enologist Alvaro Espinoza to oversee the project. A visionary who is regarded as one of the world’s premier authorities on organic, biodynamic and eco-balanced wines, Espinoza works closely with Emiliana’s resident winemaker, Antonio Bravo, on Emiliana's entire range of award-winning labels. Emiliana's three winemaking facilities are located in Los Robles and Palmeras in the Colchagua and in the Maipo Valley.
One of South America’s most important wine-producing countries, Chile is a reliable source of both budget-friendly wines and premium bottlings. Spanish settlers, Juan Jufre and Diego Garcia de Cáceres, most likely brought Vitis vinifera (Europe’s wine producing vine species) to the Central Valley of Chile some time in the 1550s. But Chile’s modern wine industry is largely the result of heavy investment from the 1990s.
Long and narrow, Chile is geographically isolated, bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Andes Mountains to the east and the Atacama desert to the north. These natural borders allowed Chile to avoid the disastrous phylloxera infestation in the late 1800s and as a result, vines are often planted on their own rootstock rather than grafted (as is the case in much of the wine producing world).
Chile’s vineyards vary widely in climate and soil type from north to south. The Coquimbo region in the far north contains the Elqui and Limari Valleys, where minimal rainfall and intense sunlight are offset by chilly breezes from the Humboldt Current. While historically focused solely on Pisco production, today this area finds success with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Aconcagua region contains the eponymous Aconcagua Valley—hot and dry and home to full-bodied red wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot—as well as Casablanca Valley and San Antonio Valley, which focus on Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. The Central Valley is home to the Maipo, Rapel, Curicó and Maule Valleys, which produce a wide variety of red and white wines. Maipo in particular is known for Carmenère, Chile’s unofficial signature grape. In the up-and-coming southern regions of Bio Bio and Itata make excellent Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.