An Interview with Emilio Contreras, Winemaker Emiliana Organic Vineyards

On Wednesday, March 9th 2016 we welcomed Emiliana Organic Vineyards into the Wine Cave for the official launch of Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère-Cabernet Sauvignon (LCBO #434662).

With vineyards located in the main wine valleys in Chile, Emiliana is certified both organic and biodynamic, and they are the world’s largest grower of certified organic grapes. Going ‘green’ isn’t just a choice for Emiliana. it is an all-encompassing way of life and an overall belief in all aspects of sustainability as the best approach.

Through all of the facets that go into the production of organic and biodynamic wines, Emiliana Novas is proving that wines of quality in this category can radically outshine their non-organic counterparts. And this wine is only $15.80 at the LCBO to boot!

I had the chance to ask current Winemaker Emilio Contreras a few questions and it becomes apparent that the philosophy behind Emiliana Organic Vineyards is a powerful tool to encourage respect for the environment, respect for the people, and respect for quality in Chilean wines!

Emilana Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère-Cabernet Sauvignon || LCBO #434662 || $15.80

aaaWhen did you know that you would be in the wine industry?

Wine has always been in my family so it wasn’t difficult to understand that wine was my passion. I love the artistic expression of creating something new, something healthy and something with true character!

Favourite grape to work with?

Pinot noir. It’s a very delicate and fascinating grape. I like working with it because it is so sensible and elegant.

Favourite wine you’ve made?
Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot – 2013 was a good harvest for our Cabernet and Merlot.

What is your biggest challenge as a winemaker?
Every vintage is a challenge as there are many things that we can’t use in the organic process. But our aim is to preserve quality and character. We are constantly facing permanent challenges on our quest to make wines with soul, personality and superlative quality.

My real challenge is crafting wines that have a friendlier mouthfeel. I aim for them to be smooth while also being super drinkable. I want to put this in all of Emiliana Novas wines: bright ripe fruit flavours, with softness backed up by good acidity.

What would you tell someone who didn’t know anything about Chilean wine?

The Chilean wine industry is an industry that has been growing a lot in the last year. We are discovering new places to grow in, in order to respect the fruit and respect the varietal to show its character. We are focusing to produce good quality wines through strategically planting precise varietals best suited to specific valleys in Chile.


Something that a lot of people may not know about you…
I have a giant schnauzer named Otto and young twin boys. We all play all sports and I love chasing my boys around at home.
Next time you’re in the LCBO, pick up a bottle of Emiliana Novas Gran Reserva Carmenère-Cabernet Sauvignon! It won’t disappoint!