The agreement involves the distribution of the Santa Rita brand by COFCO W&W International in the wholesale channel in mainland China.
COFCO is said to be the largest oil and food importer and exporter in China and a leading food and beverage manufacturer. With more than 50 years of experience in international trade, COFCO is seen as a pivotal company linking China with the international food and beverage markets.
The recently up-weighted COFCO W&W International Co. Ltd specialises in premium, imported wines, speciality beers and imported spirits.
In addition to distributing leading wine brands including Antinori, Faustino, Penfolds and McGuigan, COFCO also owns the leading domestic wine brand in China – Great Wall – as well as Chateau Viaud in Bordeaux. The company operates through a series of business management models working with other on-line and off-line distributors to expand its sales channels across China.
Santa Rita CEO Andres Lavados, said: “COFCO’s long-standing reputation, as well as heritage, management experience and extensive network positions them as leaders in their field.
“Viña Santa Rita has enjoyed a steady growth in the Asian market, but working together we aim to significantly bolster our sales and capitalise on the many opportunities available in this fast-paced market. In 2016 China became the largest export market for bottled wines from Chile and the new partnership between Santa Rita and COFCO W&W creates an exciting platform to deliver further growth in the market. The association with China’s leading premium wine distributor aligns to our goal of establishing Santa Rita as a major, relevant consumer wine brand, as reflected in the recent partnership agreement made between Santa Rita 120 and Arsenal Football Club."
COFCO W&W CEO Castel Li, said: “We are looking to achieve our goal of establishing China’s largest sales network of imported wines through a series of strategic partnerships with established and well regarded international wine brands. As a leader in innovation yet steeped in history and tradition, Santa Rita is a pertinent fit within our portfolio.
“We are confident that through our extensive national distribution network as well as through localised marketing Santa Rita will become the number one selling Chilean wine brand in the Chinese market. The partnership with Santa Rita also fulfils a long held ambition of COFCO W&W to work with a leader in the Chilean wine category. Our ultimate aim is to unite Eastern and Western culture through awarding-winning top class international wines,” said Li.