Chile brings sustainable wine to TED talks, and thoughts

Wines of Chile partnered up with TED for an inspiring look into the wine industry and dreams of a sustainable future

This year in TED2016 conference, Wines of Chile sparked the conversation on sustainability in winemaking as they partnered up with one of the most influential conference series in the world.

This year's conference theme was “Dream”, and Wines of Chile decided to explore a dream of their own as they asked attendees to imagine a world where every bottle of wine is sustainably produced. Chile is a world leader in sustainable winemaking, and so the topic came quite naturally as part of the country's main goal for the industry - to make all wineries certified sustainable by 2025.

At the conference, many of the speakers in attendance spoke of similar goals, or dreams rather, around the preservation of our planet. As most know, there isn’t just one way to do this. By listening to the talks, Wines of Chile was able to draw a number of parallels between their own goal and the goals of others. For example, Rachel Pritzker, Philanthropist, encouraged individuals to use creativity in seeking green solutions rather than cutting back. As Chile is “the most innovative wine-producing country on the planet” as per Mario Pablo Silva, President of Wines of Chile and CEO of Casa Silva, Chile is constantly seeking green solutions by exploring alternative techniques in winemaking, specifically ones that are sustainable in nature.

Kenneth Larcovara, Paleontologist, warned, during his talk, of the Sixth Extinction. He advised that unlike the previous inhabitants of the earth that were faced with the other five extinctions in history, humans have the ability to prevent this one. Larcovara educates that although there isn’t just one cut and dry answer for how we can do this, it is important to be aware and to do what we can. The sustainable initiatives currently underway in the Chilean wine industry are important in this regard because they minimize our environmental
impact and lower our carbon footprint by reducing waste, reducing the use of water and reducing the use of pesticides, all of which contribute to preventing a sixth extinction.

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), spoke about climate change and the strides we have made over the last six years since this issue has been addressed on a global scale. She states that “impossible is an attitude” and over the last six years we have “come from the impossible to the unstoppable” in beating climate change. She then mentions that water security is one of the next global issues of this century and states she doesn’t yet know how we will solve it. However, she states that we should “take a page out of what we’ve done on climate change.” For Wines of Chile, the concern of water depletion has been top of mind for over a decade. Chile is contributing to reduced water use through sustainable production techniques, such as dry-farming in the winemaking process. As this process uses roughly 60% less water than traditional techniques, it is certainly aiding in the conservation of drinkable water.

10-year old writer, Ishita Katyal brought to light the importance of acting immediately on our dreams when she asked the audience “why should any of us waste a moment?” and later goes on to say, “I hope you adults can look after the world long enough for us children to enjoy it.” With the worlds vineyards spanning roughly 7.5 million hectares, it is important that we act on sustainable initiatives now, in order to preserve our world for future generations.

Al Gore, Climate Advocate and Nobel Laureate, gave a surprisingly optimistic speech this year about climate change and how the increased use of renewable resources vs. non-renewable resources has him believing that humankind “will win this battle”. Gore provides us with statistics showing that we have over exceeded many of the goals that had been set in order to reduce climate change. This is an enormous feat, and speaks to the idea that anything is possible. Therefore, although worldwide sustainable winemaking may sound like a daunting road to explore, if we are winning the battle against climate change, which ten years ago, many would have doubted to be possible, well then we can do anything and this is exactly the message that Wines of Chile hopes to have inspired on a global scale at TED2016.

The partnership between Wines of Chile and TED2016 has been truly exciting. As Chile is such a young and evolving wine region the importance of innovation and exploration in the field continues to be a priority. The message that sustainable wine production has the ability to impact our world in a positive way feeds into the overarching goals of the conference which is to improve the planet in which we all live. Being amongst like-minded peers at the conference has left Wines of Chile inspired and eager to take action. It is truly amazing what bringing together so many great minds under one roof can do.

Wineries that took part in TED 2016 were:



Casa Silva

Concha y Toro




Santa Rita

Santa Carolina