Chile officially launches Organic Wine Association “COW”

Chile officially launches Organic Wine Association “COW” Chile has unveiled its first association for certified organic wine producers, and it’s been given a distinctive and memorable acronym “COW”. COW stands for Chilean Organic Winegrowers, and unites eight producers, who are also members of Vinos de Chile.

Last week the organization was officially launched at ProWein, with founding members: Emiliana, Cono Sur, Koyle, Matetic, Miguel Torres Chile, Odfjell, Veramonte and De Martino.

COW comes with the support of Vinos de Chile, which will help the organic wine association through the bigger organization’s R&D facility, legal teams and human resources.

The new group has been created to help promote Chilean organic wines, and to also raise awareness and the benefits of organic approaches to grape growing.

According to COW, sales of organic wines increased by more than 20% in 2021 for the founding wineries, with demand being driven by Canada, the US, the Nordics and Japan.

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Miguel Torres (Chile) joins International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA)

International Wineries for Climate Action (IWCA) has increased its collaborative effort to decarbonize the global wine sector with the admission of five new wineries hailing from France, Chile and Australia.

Miguel Torres (Chile) has become the latest silver member of IWCA, and four other wineries from France, Chile and Australia have signed up as applicant members, committed to take immediate action to reduce their carbon emissions.

The total number of IWCA members now stands at 27 wineries, who have joined in the time since its foundation by winemakers Miguel A. Torres (Familia Torres) and Katie Jackson (Jackson Family Wines) in February 2019.

Miguel Torres has joined as Silver Member after committing to become Net Zero by 2050 at the latest and completing an annual third-party audited greenhouse gas emissions inventory.

The winery, founded in 1979 by Miguel Torres, is one of the main Chilean producers of premium wines with 400-hectare organic vineyards and presence in over 100 countries.

“We must undertake concrete actions to reduce and mitigate the impacts produced by our processes. All companies should do the same. Our participation in IWCA is key for us as we will join a strict protocol to mitigate CO2 emissions, adopt actions implemented by other wineries around the world and share information regarding new projects” said Jaime Valderrama, General Manager of Miguel Torres Chile.

The other four wineries that have been accepted as IWCA’s applicant members are Champagne Lanson and Famille Perrin from France, Viña Undurraga from Chile and Voyager Estate from Australia.

 

IWCA has launched two regionally adapted IWCA calculators for wineries in Australia and New Zealand. These tools have been developed in collaboration with Sustridge and Yealands for current and potential members of IWCA to calculate their annual GHG emissions inventories and include the most material emissions sources for typical wineries and vineyards.

 

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Chile in the process of setting up an “Organic Wine Growers’ Association”

A group of Chilean wineries are forming an association to promote organic wine due to the post-pandemic upsurge.

News of the impending organization came during an interview with Jaime Valderrama, who is the managing director of Viña Miguel Torres Chile.

The group of six wineries will be collaborating to promote organic wine from Chile, and that the new association would also have the support of Wines of Chile, which unites much of the country’s wine industry primarily for marketing purposes.

Among the founder members of the organic association will be Viña Emiliana, Odfell, and Koyle, according to Valderrama, as well as Viña Miguel Torres Chile.

Taking inspiration from Organic Winegrowers New Zealand (OWNZ), which is a dedicated to supporting organic winegrowing, he said that the group of Chilean wineries have been speaking to the founders of the New Zealand organization for advice.

Valderrama said, “..this year is very good, especially for organic wines, and our Las Mulas range of organic wines is doing very well; natural and organic wine is facing more demand, and that’s where the growth is across the US, Europe, UK and Korea as well.”

He added, “It seems that the consumer is more conscious about organics and the environment, and that’s why we are creating an organic grower’s association in Chile: the future for us is organic and natural wines.”

Currently, 98% of grape production across the 314 hectares owned by Torres in Chile is grown organically, with certification.

Sources  Drinks Business

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The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja unveils strategic five-year plan

The Consejo Regulador DOCa of Rioja has unveiled a five-year strategic plan aimed at boosting the region’s sustainability credentials, driving wine tourism and increasing exports.

The aim is to boost total sales from 230 million litres in 2020 to 312 million litres by 2025, with export to account for 44% at 137 million litres, in addition to increased turnover of the Rioja brand by 23%, said the regional body.

White Rioja is set to grow to a total of 12% of volume and rosado to 5% of volume, a projection which aligns with current trends in the UK – still the most important export market for Rioja, the DOCa added.

Referred to as “a blueprint” for Rioja to establish itself as a global leader in wine production, the new strategy was developed following a year-long review carried out in collaboration with all key regional stakeholders, and in consultation with experts from each of the region’s 12 key export markets.

Central to the DOCa’s plans will be a focus on establishing Rioja as a leader in sustainability to help safeguard the future of the region, with key metrics having been developed to measure progress in this area, including the reduction of pesticide use by 50% and carbon footprint by 10%.

Another key pillar of the new strategy will be a focus on increasing wine tourism, with a target of reaching 1.3 million visitors by 2025, compared to the 343,000 visitors counted in 2020. The DOCa said it expected the number of wineries able to offer visitor experiences to rise to 250, just over a third of the region’s total.

Moreover, it said that digitalization would also play a prominent role in driving sales from the region with a target to quadruple online sales.

“The new strategic plan exemplifies Rioja’s pioneering character and aims to increase the value of the region and raise awareness of our wines, particularly in key export markets,” said President Fernando Salamero.

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More Bordeaux Vineyards Converting to Organic

Increasing numbers of vineyards in Bordeaux are switching to organic methods of production, after lagging behind other French winemaking regions.

According to Patrick Vasseur, vice president of the Gironde Chamber of Agriculture, there are up to date figures available, but anecdotal evidence indicates that around 300 vineyards a year are converting to organic.

 

“It’s quite simple, everyone is switching over” winegrower Philippe Carrille told Vitisphere. His 23-hectare Château Poupille in Castillon Côte de Bordeaux has been certified since 2008.   This surge of new converts, “can only be cause for rejoicing”, added Gwénaëlle le Guillou, director of the New Aquitaine organic wine producers’ organisation (SVBNA). She pointed out that until recently, Bordeaux had trailed well behind other regions, with only 11% of vineyards committed to organic, compared to a national average of 14%.

 

“There are currently significant price differences between organic and conventional, but this will not last,” said Phillipe Cazaux, director of the co-operative group Bordeaux Families.  “Well-deserved added value will remain, though, due to the technical commitments and the risk incurred by the supply side. This year the group has 105 hectares certified organic and 551 hectares in the conversion phase. “Initially, small areas entered the process, but then gradually the larger areas followed suit”, said Cazaux, who plans to convert a fifth of acreage to organic within five years, with a longer-term goal of 1,000 hectares by 2027.

 

Éric Hénaux, director of the Tutiac co-operative group, is adopting a more cautious approach and waiting for the current 620 hectares to be converted by 2022 before making any further plans. “We will see how the market stabilizes,” he said. “A lot of organic wines came on-stream, and prices fell. We have to be careful not to produce more volumes than we have the capacity to sell. The objective is not to sell on the spot market, but to focus on bottles and three-year contracts”.

 

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