«Eco» and vegan wines, a growing trend led by Chilean wineries

Chilean wine is, according to the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), the fourth largest exporter in the world in volume and value and is considered one of the «ambassadors» of the country, which has now also become a benchmark in the region in terms of organic wine production.

This product line, according to a study by the Bio Bio Universityrecorded a 20% growth in 2019 globally and still does not meet the demand of several of the most important markets such as Europe, USA Y Japan.

Sustainability has been on the agenda of the Chilean wine industry for more than a decade, when the Chilean Wine Association created a sustainable label that today carries more than 80% of exported bottled wines, produced by a total of 76 vineyards representing 50,000 hectares.

«There has been a greater awareness for several years regarding the environmental issue and under that umbrella these new wines have appeared,» the person in charge of sustainability of the Chilean Wine Association told Efe, Patrick Parra.

Another secret is in the narrowness of Chile150 kilometers wide on average, which allows wines to be produced with the influence of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Andes Mountains on the other.

«This generates a climatic diversity that made possible the appearance of new wines and the gradual increase of the organic vineyardParra pointed out.


Viña Emiliana is located in an idyllic setting where chickens and alpacas roam freely through organic orchards and grape fields. the first organic vineyard in Chile and one of the largest in the worldwith more than 900 hectares and a production that exceeds 10 million liters per year.

«Ecological or organic wine is one in which no type of synthesized chemical is used What pesticides, fungicides Y fertilizers that are normally transferred to the grape and remain as a residue in the final product,» said the company’s general manager, Christian Rodriguez.

On the other hand, Rodríguez pointed out, there is biodynamic wine, which is produced under the premise of «close cycles of agriculture in the same fielda concept that has to do with returning the farm from 150 years ago and that consists of the farm functioning as a living entity,» he added.

In the production of this type of wine, the pomace -skins of the grapes- of the crops and the guano of the animals are used as fertilizer, and minerals and plants such as chamomile or dandelion to prevent pests.

97% of the production of this vineyard is exported to Europe, Brazil and the United States, from where they also receive thousands of visits every year from wine tourists who want to try their wines, which in addition to being certified vegan are also biodynamic, and are produced under fair trade standards, explained the businessman.


Beyond organic wines, which according to Vinos de Chile represent 2.5% of the country’s total vineyards, in recent years the fashion for vegan wines has emerged, in which the egg white that is normally used to clarify the liquid is replaced by other products of vegetable origin.

«In Chile for five years there has been a ‘boom’ with veganism and the trend in wines has always been towards the healthiest,» he said John Joseph Taruda local producer who makes his wines without products of animal origin in a centuries-old vineyard several kilometers south of the capital.

The elaboration of its wines is far from all industrial processes and the grape juice rests for months in jars and old clay amphorae which, according to the expert, «help to maintain the aroma and make it is not necessary to add yeasts or sulfites for fermentation«.

The oenologist and professor of Agronomy at the University of Chile, Alvaro Penaexplained to Efe that «there are no differences in flavor between vegan and traditional wines and added that, despite the differences in production, they have the same organoleptic characteristics.»

The elaboration of these new wines, Peña added, responds to the demands of the «millennial» generation, Patricia Nieto Mariño.

Patricia Nieto Mariño / EFE

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