Concha y Toro has acquired the ailing Los Robles co-operative of Curicó through its Cono Sur subsidiary for
about £4 million - and plans to relaunch the Fairtrade brand with wines from the 2009 vintage.
Cristián López, managing director of Concha y Toro and Cono Sur, told OLN that Los Robles' Fairtrade status was the main reason for the acquisition.
Los Robles will be part of the Cono Sur portfolio - the brand is considered to be a good fit in view of Cono Sur's socially responsible philosophy.
Its head winemaker, Adolfo Hurtado, will oversee winemaking at the co-operative.
Concha y Toro has already ventured into Fairtrade with the launch of three wines under the Otra Vida brand from Trivento, its Argentinian operation. The
move gives it an established platform to build from . López
said: "Los Robles has strong value in the UK market; Ehrmanns has done a lot."
He added: "We're going to get into the project seriously and be commercially successful. The more successful you are, the more you can contribute to [Fairtrade] programmes and the quality aspect is absolutely key."
priority was to ensure a continuous supply for Los Robles through working closely with Ehrmanns.
Ehrmanns' marketing director Keith Lay added: "We still see Fairtrade as a key focus for Ehrmanns, and consequently we have a number of ongoing projects with both existing partners like Soluna, Stellar Organics and Thandi - as well as a new Fairtrade partner we hope to announce shortly. It is our view that Fairtrade wine will account for 3% of wine sales by 2012."
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