Chile rides out

24 July, 2018

Santa Carolina chief executive Santiago Larraín agrees: “Remember that only 20% of the wines are consumed in Chile. All the rest must be exported so we know how to provide commercial wines to all different markets.”

Bodega Volcanes de Chile’s managing director Ben Gordon comes in: “Chile has often struggled to communicate its USP but I believe the consistent message of diversity is starting to ring true. It may be easier to market yourself as a one-trick pony but, over time, consumers stay loyal to a category if they see consistent quality but diverse styles emerging.

“It’s harder for wineries to pinpoint USPs but we at Bodega Volcanes de Chile have positioned ourselves as Chile’s volcanic wine producer and I think the link with Chile’s unique geography is often overlooked by producers,” says Gordon.

Santa Rita Estates chief executive Andres Lavados says: “Chile is capable of producing wines of the highest quality from an amazing diversity of places. Of particular note is the upper part of the Maipo Valley, where the terroir conditions lend themselves especially well to the production of some of the most exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons in the world.”

Emiliana’s sales director Andres Gillmore adds: “Chile has many USPs to compete in today’s global wine market.

“Among them we can highlight the variety of climates from desert such as Limari to cool, rainy Bío Bío that allow us to produce many types and styles of wines in a unique sanitary condition with not many global wine diseases. Still Phylloxera-free, that enables us to be leaders in the production of organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines today.”

Vía commercial director Carlos Kuscevic sums up Chile’s USP in one word, ‘consistency’, while Aresti sales director Cristian Becerra, says: “We think the main USP Chile has is diversity. It’s thanks to that we can innovate continuously.”


Torres says: “The trend is to head south and to plant in cooler areas with more water to achieve wine with more fruit, less wood and less extraction, good acidity and freshness and of course a wine that expresses its origin. Another trend is to look for extreme areas, towards the north and south of Chile, the Andes or even the coast. Years ago, Chilean wines differentiated themselves mainly through their disparate climates.

“Today, however, not only the different climates are important, but also the origin, the specific valley/vineyard and the specific type of soil, thus highlighting the typicity of each variety in every special spot.”

Gordon says: “In Chile there are continued improvements, with the producers placing much more emphasis on planting the right grapes in the right areas but also using the right clones. This leads to a greater confidence in the grape quality for winemakers and, as a result, in Chile we are making wines that are less fabricated and offer a far greater expression of origin.”

Lavados concurs: “The trend in planting is to use the considerably more advanced technology now available to us, including soil mapping before replanting or starting a new plantation. Also the use of high quality genetic material (clones) from the very start, rootstocks and other new technologies are what the wineries in the forefront are concentrating on.

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Nick Strangeway

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