Are sustainable wines the way forward?

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Sustainable wines from Chile


Cono Sur Viognier (Morrisons, Waitrose, Oddbins, £6.99) is best described as summer in a glass, brimming full with succulent notes of apricot, peach and citrus fruits, combined with a hint of oak.


Viognier is a remarkably difficult grape to grow. It is prone to mildew, produces notoriously low and unpredictable yields, and needs to be picked when fully ripe. If it is picked too early it fails to develop its classic aromas and rich tastes.

But despite, or perhaps because of, this precariousness it has the most amazing clear, golden colour and the aroma of flowers and fruits at their freshest. Many talk of being surprised by the taste; the colour and nose hinting at something sweeter but the actually taste being dry with a variety of nuances both on the tongue and



About the producer – Cono Sur of Chile

Founded in 1993, the name refers to the winery’s origin in the ‘Southern Cone’ of South America.

The cornerstone of Cono Sur Vineyards & Winery is innovation, with its slogan being: “No family trees, no dusty bottles, just quality wine.” In 2001 Cono Sur was the best-selling Chilean brand in the UK. Its current market position is the UK’s 10th biggest Chilean wine brand by both volume and value (7/8/10)

Cono Sur is Chile’s most awarded winery. In the UK 2009 competitions, Cono Sur collected 7 Trophies as well as 2 Gold, 8 Silver and 18 Bronze Awards. The wines are distributed through many multiple grocers and multiple specialists, as well as offering some on-trade exclusives – Los Gansos, Maiden Flight and Sibaritas – via Matthew Clark (circa 24,000 9L pa.)

The central philosophy as to how Cono Sur works is: “to do things the natural way

Bicycles – Wherever you look you’ll find bicycles propped up against the walls and at the end of rows of vines – it’s the way Cono Sur workers get to work and around the estate. As well as being highly practical it’s good for the environment.


 Geese – Over 1,000 geese live (and work) at the Cono Sur Estate in Chimbarongo. They roam the vineyards freely throughout the growing season, eating insects and bugs that would otherwise be damaging the vines. Thanks to their insatiable appetite, Cono Sur’s grapes are grown without the need for spraying pesticides.

Wild Flowers – When the vine is flowering it is very susceptible to damage from bugs. Cultivating beautiful wild flowers every fifth row, quite literally offers the insects a better lifestyle – by effectively attracting them away from the vine.

Garlic Glue – Rather than spray with chemicals to tackle the ‘burrito’ bug, Cono Sur ties strips of cloth, covered in grease, glue and garlic around the trunks to repel them back to the ground.


ISO 9 001 for quality assurance procedures and ISO 14 001 for environmental policies achieved in 2002
2006 – ‘Clean Production Agreement’ certification, an initiative of the Chilean government and Chile’s Wine Corporation
Carbon Neutral® delivery status achieved in 2007
2008 – agricultural research project ‘Wine, Climate change and biodiversity’ undertaken with the Ecology and Biodiversity Insititute
2009 – lightweight bottles implemented across the entry-level range
2010 – ISO 14 064 achieved for measurement and control of carbon emissions


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