I had the pleasure of meeting winemaker Antonio Bravo from Emiliana Winery today. There is quite a bit of online chatter about organic and biodynamic wines but I especially relish the opportunity to discuss these wines with the person who actually makes them.
Antonio made vast amounts of conventional wines for huge wine companies like Kendall Jackson in the past.Now he makes smaller quantities of certified organic and biodynamic wines for Emiliana. He started out with some healthy skepticism for biodynamic wine making but became a believer when he saw the grape quality. Not to mention the health of the vineyard workers and the vitality of the vineyards themselves.
But as a friend of Antonio’s said,”Belief is for the priests”. Antonio made it clear that his priority is to produce high quality wines in a responsible manner. And hopefully wines that are specific to Chile, wines that could not be mistaken for a Napa cabernet or an Australian shiraz. This is another reason that Antonio uses natural yeasts as much as possible.
These are wines I encourage you to seek out. Bright acidity, fresh fruit flavors and lovely spice (especially the carmeneres).
Emiliana produces four brands:
G is a red blend of carmenere, syrah, cabernet sauvignon and merlot.Certified biodynamic and made with natural yeasts. $90
Coyam is another red blend of syrah, merlot, carmenere, cabernet sauvignon, malbec and mourvedre. Certified biodynamic and made with natural yeasts. $30
Novas has several white wine and red wine blends. Made with certified organic grapes and a blend of natural and cultivated yeasts. $17
Natura is the entry level wine and has several varietal wines: chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, carmenere and syrah. Made with certified organic grapes. $11