Responsible sourcing

Viña Undurraga — sustainable planning for the next 138 years

Each month, we profile one of our producers who is making great strides in sustainability, whether environmentally, socially, or in other areas. This month, wine writer Amanda Barnes explores the wealth of sustainable practices at Viña Undurraga in Chile.

Viña Undurraga

With a history spanning over 138 years, Viña Undurraga in Chile is aware of the importance of sustainability for longevity. “We’ve always been looking to the future and keeping attentive to the demands of markets too,” says Andrés Izquierdo, CEO of Viña Undurraga. “Sustainability is one of our main strategic pillars and, now more than ever, we are thinking of the future generations and how we can continue to care for the environment and reduce the impact of climate change.” 

The winery, one of Chile’s largest with over 1,350 hectares under vine, has been part of several sustainable initiatives and has multiple certifications including Wines of Chile’s Sustainability Code  and belonging to International Wineries for Climate Action, Organización Internacional del Trabajo, Desafío 10X, and Amfori BSCI.  

Reforestation in action 

Hundreds of practical applications have resulted from their sustainability initiatives. Perhaps one of the most notable is the reforestation work being done, through which they have helped plant over one million trees in the past seven years. For each bottle of Aliwen wine (meaning ‘sacred tree’ in the native Mapuche language) purchased, Viña Undurraga donates to the Chilean charity Fundación Reforestemos. This is Chile’s biggest reforestation project, and Viña Undurraga is the official winery sponsor. The project focuses on reforestation of native trees throughout Chile, contributing to lowering carbon emissions, increasing natural habitats and preserving biodiversity, with planting initiatives in 11 regions throughout the country. 

Discover the wines from Undurraga 

Recycling and treatment of waste material is also a key focus. Today the winery recycles over 83% of all materials used, including plastics, cardboard and paper, glass, and organic waste. Their sustainability initiatives in real terms correspond to saving over seven million litres of water each year, and saving the energy equivalent to running 2,560 homes. In each of the main vineyards, solar panels are being installed to harvest green energy — the largest of which, Fundo Cauquenes (with 388 hectares of vines in Maule), already has 34% of its energy needs met by solar energy. 

Focus on packaging

Sunset over the Viña Undurraga vines

Since 2021, the winery has also been measuring its carbon footprint in a bid to identify the biggest carbon expenditures. “One of the biggest challenges is packaging,” adds Izquierdo, “it accounts for 42% of our carbon footprint.” New initiatives to reduce the impact of packaging include removing the aluminium capsules for their entry-level range of sparkling wines, a saving of 28% of their aluminium packaging — almost 4,000 kilograms of aluminium.  

Their social sustainability plan ranges from staff training and career growth to education on workers’ rights and safety. Another initiative with a particularly social focus is the production of Terroir Hunter Araucania Pinot Noir. “We buy the grapes from Mapuche families that have planted vines in Malleco, southern Chile,” explains winemaker Rafael Urrejola. “They were originally making wines for themselves, but it was too much for them to handle. So we offered to buy all the grapes, at a fair price, and help manage the vineyard. We also make their wine, giving them a share of the bottles for the families to sell for their own income throughout the year.” 

Viña Undurraga is just one of our producers with a more sustainable approach to winemaking. Explore our whole selection of producers making a difference. 

Enjoyed this article? Discover our last featured producer, Coelheiros in Portugal. 

Amanda Barnes


Amanda Barnes

Amanda Barnes is an award-winning British journalist and editor who specializes in wine and travel writing. She is an expert in South American wine and regions and a regular correspondent for international wine and travel publications (including Decanter, The World of Fine Wine and Wine Enthusiast). She is currently studying to become a Master of Wine and is author of the South America Wine Guide.

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