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.