Chile beats South Africa in UK wine market

23 October, 2007

Chile’s wine prowess continues to grow, with new figures suggesting the country has knocked South Africa out of the top five in sales via UK supermarkets.

Sales of Chilean wine in UK supermarkets rose 31 per cent by volume and 29 per cent by value in the year up to 6 October, according to new figures from Nielsen, sourced by Wines of Chile.

The rise suggests Chile has leapfrogged South Africa to become the fifth largest supplier of wines to supermarkets in the UK. Supermarkets account for more than 80 per cent of UK wine sales.

Michael Cox, UK director for Wines of Chile, said the success was “a testament to Chile’s hard working winemakers who are increasingly in tune with British consumers’ needs”.

Chile now has an eight per cent market share of supermarket wine sales in the UK, Nielsen figures show.

A spokesperson for Wines of South Africa emphasised that it remained ahead of Chilean wine in terms of overall sales in the UK.

Yet, many analysts have labelled Chile as a wine country to watch over the next few years. Some have likened its position in the UK to that of Australia a decade ago.

Michael Cox helped launch a new Chilean Wine Club in the UK last week, intended to showcase and supply some of the country's hidden treasures, not available in supermarkets.

“We’ve got lots of bottles at £7-£9 and a smattering of seriously iconic wines at £20-£40,” said co-founder Mark Hughes to Off Licence News sister site,

To read the original news story on the Chilean Wine Club, click here.

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