Sunshine in Chile makes for great grapes

Chile is presenting itself as one of the best places in the world to grow organic grapes. It’s certainly blessed with some natural advantages when it comes to growing environmentally-friendly grapes, not least its warm, dry climate.

We were particuarly impressed with the Chilcas Estate when we were sourcing new Chilean wines for our list at Aalto Restaurant. The estate takes a holistic approach to sustainability in the areas of grape growing, winemaking and social responsibility.

‘Precision agriculture’ is used to minimise the need for chemical interventions and, in the cellars, the leftover bits of grapes – skin, pips and seeds – are all reused rather than being thrown out, water use is carefully monitored and alternative energy sources such as biomass are used to provide electricity wherever possible.

Chilcas employs a positive recruitment scheme for workers with disabilities, offers outstanding training, supports local students with internships and sponsors a community sports team.

We can drink to that – and so can you: Chilcas Pinot Noir Single Vineyard Maule 2009 and Chilcas Carmenere Reserva Do San Rafael are available at Aalto Restaurant.

You can book a table online at

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