Last month the first Chilean wineries, fourteen in total, received sustainable certifications from the Chilean Wine Industry, awarded for sustainable vineyard management processes and standards. It reminded me a little of the ‘Greening Waipara‘ project, only this Chilean sustainability code seems to be more of an official, nationwide movement.
So what does Chile’s new sustainability code address? It addresses the need for sustainable practices in three areas. Firstly, the area that the fourteen wineries were certified for, the vineyard (Green Chapter), and to follow later in the year, the winery (Red Chapter) and the community (Orange Chapter). The scheme provides a checklist of control points to be evaluated and a manual with recommendations for each control point.
In a nutshell, they are trying to ensure that the industry endures and that it stays in a healthy state of being. That includes looking after the land, which is everything when it comes to agriculture.
It might be cynical to suggest that Wines of Chile are just rolling out official protocols to give themselves more of a purpose in the industry. After all, with the approval average for the certification being over eighty percent you would wonder how strict the criteria really is. Even before sustainable, organic and fair trade practices, Chilean has always been somewhat of a viticultural paradise. The climate, topography and geographical location should allow sustainable practices to be implemented without a huge amount of extra effort from the growers while continuing to deliver on quality wines.
The red chapter and orange chapters will obviously apply more specifically to winemakers and marketing departments.
Here’s what the chief had to say:
“We are committed to becoming the number one producer of premium, sustainable and diverse wines from the New World by 2020. To achieve this goal it is imperative to create innovation that boosts our competitiveness. The development and implementation of Wines of Chile’s state-of-the-art Sustainability Code is a key pillar to achieve this objective.”
Rene Araneda, President of Wines of Chile
There is certainly a branding motivation here, but any effort to further improve the three aforementioned areas can only be a good thing. Even though the Chileans don’t need to prove their quality to me, likes ourselves, they wouldn’t be the type of people to rest on their laurels.
Remember, we’ve got 20% off Chile until the end of February. Ah go on…