6 Chile
Published:  13 July, 2007

Market share by value: 6.6

per cent

Last year's rank: 7

Last year's market share: 6.2

per cent

Sales value: £291 million

Change o

n last year: +11

per cent

After a slight dip last year, Chile has soared back to take sixth position in the 2007 Wine Report. As you'd expect, Michael Cox of Wines of Chile is pleased with

Chile's progress. "It's steady, rather than spectacular," he says. "But it's progress across the board. Our volume and value shares are both up, we're doing well in the on-trade and our sales above £5 are growing at 14 per cent."

Chile has a strong own-label presence, with 29 per cent of sales, but its branded wines are leading the growth. Concha & Toro

is doing for Chile what Penfolds did for Australia in the 1980s,

and is now a major UK brand. Other strong performers

are Errazuriz, Cono Sur, Montes, Luis Felipe Edwards and Chileno

-

and Santa Rita

seems to be making a comeback.

The emergence of new cool -climate areas such as Limarí, Bío Bío and San Antonio/Leyda has brought added diversity , enabling the country to shake off its safe and boring tag. Cox

has been encouraged by

retailers such as Majestic and Oddbins, which "are listing Chilean wines by valley , rather than by colour".

Unlike Argentina, Chile has established a strong UK consumer franchise .

Next it must surely develop wine tourism and take a

bigger chunk of the UK market. With New Zealand, Chile has been the most improved New World country over the last five years. Now all it needs is a direct flight from London to Santiago.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle – which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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