Grape stomping during the 2008 wine harvest festival in Isla de Maipo.
by Marcela Torres
March and April are the wine harvest (“vendimia”) months in Chile and all wine-producing regions hold festivities to celebrate and promote new lines of wine of participating vineyards. This is a great opportunity to learn about the country’s sustainable wineries and taste some of their best organic wines.
Last year, the wine industry in Chile began applying the National Sustainability Code, established by the Sustainability Program of the Wines of Chile trade association, together with the Vinnova and Tecnovid technology consortia.
Companies that apply to this certification process must undergo an evaluation of different sustainability practices and procedures throughout the Chilean wine’s value chain, focusing on three dimensions: “Green-Vineyard”, “Red-Cellar” and “Orange-Community”. So far, 20 wineries have received “green” certification and are allowed to use the 2011 sustainable management seal. These are: Anakena, Arboleda, Caliterra, Casa Silva, Cremaschi Furlotti, Emiliana, Errázuriz, Montes, MontGras, Santa Cruz, Santa Ema, Santa Rita, Ventisquero, Vía Wines, Miguel Torres, Maquis, Pérez Cruz, Carmen, Nativa y Sur Andino.
This is a big step for the wine industry in Chile, which last year saw its exports increase in 9.6% compared to 2010. The main destination markets were the European Union and Asia, which concentrated 41% and 16.6% of total exports, respectively.
Although some festivities have already been carried out, in the Colchagua Valley and Chillan, there are still other celebrations programmed for people who want to enjoy these events, which besides wines include handicraft exhibits, typical food, live music and some local traditions such as grape stomping.
March 23rd through 25th: Fiesta de la Vendimia de Curicó, Maule Valley.
March 24th: Fiesta de la Vendimia de Rengo, Cachapoal Valley.
March 30th and 31st: Boulevard del Vino en Talca, Maule Valley.
March 31st and April 1st: Fiesta de la Vendimia de Peralillo, Colchagua Valley.
April 13th through 15th: X Fiesta de la Vendimia del Valle del Maipo, en Buin.
April 14th and 15th: Fiesta de la Vendimia de Isla de Maipo, Maipo Valley.
This entry was originally posted by the author on March 14, 2012.