The Grapevine

Retail Wine Industry News – Chile Moves Upscale

August 26th, 2013

Long thought of as a source for bargain-basement and value-oriented reds, Chile seeks to burnish its image with more upscale wines. [level-members]

And they’re not messing around. According to Shanken News, one of the initial efforts in this rebranding is a $300 Cabernet-based bottle from Viña Montes called Taita.

Interestingly, one Chilean producer noted that the U.S. had become “a very price-oriented market post-recession.” His firm had focused on the $15-$20 price range in the U.S. prior to the downturn, but now does better in the $10-$15 range.

Timing is everything, so perhaps this move to higher-priced wines is a signal that at least in Chile, optimism is returning.

The news here should be tempered, though. Concha y Toro, which is by far the largest Chilean player in the U.S. market, is sticking with its guns in the $15 to $20 range. That partly may be because of their size – the market for $300-a-bottle wine simply isn’t big enough to have an impact on their business – but it may also reflect a different take on the state of the market.