Chile emerged as the big winner this week at the “2012 Green Awards” ceremony held in London by leading wine and spirits magazine The Drinks Business.
The annual event recognizes companies, people and organizations around the world that are changing the business practices of the drinks industry for the better, rewarding the winery which has made the strongest commitment to the environment with the title of “Green Company of the Year.”
This year Chile’s Viña Emiliana took home the prize.
Upon presenting the award, David Mawer, UK Managing Director of JF Hillebrand, commended the Chilean winery for “improving its business practice to better its carbon footprint by improving its own direct impact on the surrounding environment.”
Viña Emiliana was born in 1998 as a project to produce a world-class wine that includes both organic and biodynamic agriculture in its production.
“When we began this project more than a decade ago we were innovators and visionaries,” said José Guilisasti, General Manager of Viña Emiliana. “Today we realize that being 100% organic and sustainable from the social, environmental, and economic perspectives is possible. We are tremendously proud to obtain this award and it motivates us to continue working in the same direction.”
The winery currently has over 2,463 acres (997 hectares) of vineyards in the some of Chile’s most renowned wine growing regions, including the Casablanca, Maipo, Cachapoal, Colchagua, and Bío Bío Valleys. Emiliana’s vineyards are free of pesticides, herbicides, and synthetic fertilizers. Today it boasts sustainable practices ranging from from energy efficiency programs to Corporate Social Responsibility activities.
In addition to taking out the top award at the ceremony, Viña Emiliana also won the “Sustainability Award,” topping a highly competitive field of wineries from Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Portugal, among others. The Sustainability Award recognizes the company’s efforts to achieve sustainable practices more efficiently and effectively.
Creating an environmentally responsible and sustainable industry has become one of the strategic goals of the Chilean wine industry’s organizing body - Wines of Chile, which was also a sponsor of this year’s Green Awards.
By 2020, Wines of Chile seeks to be the number one producer of premium, sustainable and diverse wines from the New World. This target has been embraced by many vineyards around the county, and by January 2012 Wines of Chile had officially certified 20 wineries with its new Certified Sustainable Wine of Chile seal, after a rigorous assessment and inspection process.
The following wineries have already been certified sustainable: Cremaschi Furlotti, Via Wines, Errazuriz, Caliterra, Arboleda, Montes, Montgras, Ventisquero, Santa Ema, Anakena, Santa Cruz, Santa Rita, Casa Silva, Emiliana, Miguel Torres, Maquis, Perez Cruz, Carmen, Sur Andino, and Nativa.
For a full list of winners and wineries honored at the 2012 Green Awards, click here.