Chile should go 100% organic

15th August, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

The Chilean wine industry should convert all its vineyards to organic practices according to one respected winemaker in the country.

Organic vineyards at Emiliana

Organic vineyards at Emiliana in Chile’s Colchagua wine region

“Chile should get behind organics,” stated Grant Phelps, chief winemaker at Viña Casas del Bosque, speaking to the drinks business in Chile last month.

Phelps, a New Zealander who makes wine in Chile, said that the nation benefitted from ideal conditions for organic viticulture and would enjoy a significant competitive advantage if all its vinous output was made with organically-grown grapes.

“It’s so easy to be organic in Chile because it doesn’t rain throughout the entire growing season,” he said.

Continuing, he proposed, “Chile could say as an industry let’s go 100% organic and they could do it… and it would be amazing if consumers knew that the wine was organic just because it was from Chile.”

However, he admitted that such a movement would be challenged by the high number of small family-owned growers in the country, some of whom the industry would find it hard to convince to change their viticultural practices.

4 Responses to “Chile should go 100% organic”

  1. Chile can either do as the rest of the world does which is him and haw and contemplate thinking about wondering whether or not to consider pondering, brooding over, musing, reflecting, ruminate, cogitate the decision ad nauseam, or they can do just as Sonoma County did in California, make the decision to go 100% organic regardless of what the rest of California or the world is doing. Grow some cojones Chile, and JUST DO IT! Be a leader, the time is NOW.

  2. Richard Smart says:

    Well, I am amazed. I always thought that organic wine production was something to do with the environment…or wine quality. Now I hear it is to do with selling wine. Oh dear, do the consumers know?

  3. Davide Togni says:

    It would be a huge effort, an effort unmatched byi every other nation. So totally worth!
    @_Alejandro_ not even Sonoma County has ever expressed this ambitious desire. They’re committed to obtain a “100% sustainable viticulture” in 2020… that’s really different from Chili ambition to go 100% ORGANIC!
    There’s not a single Viticultural Area in NZ, SA, USA or EU that can boast about a 100% organic viticultural production yet. Go forth Chili!
    Mr Phelps, need some help?

  4. Julian Richards says:

    Go for it Chile! There was some talk of NZ doing the same by 2020, but alas the majority are too reliant on their “chemical knowledge” and too complacent to push ecological farming systems further, usually citing cost as the negative to organics/BD or other Holistic farming methods. Perhaps this is more likely a lack of ‘living systems’ knowledge and experience? i.e. Most university soil science courses still refuse to teach the complexities of soil biology as a component of their soil science course(complacent in their chemical knowledge) and if they show any thought to it at all, it is simply a brief skim over of the well known biological soil building processes. Not good enough!
    Unfortunately many winegrowers(farmers) lack the drive to do the right thing by future generations, that being maintain and or improve the health and vitality of the land….we are the ‘current’ caretakers of this land, there will many more to travel this agricultural path on those same patches of soil after we are gone. There is far more to consider than financial year estimates alone! The true cost of conventional petro-chemical agriculture will be played out soon enough….

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