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More Chilean wines cheaper to Chinese consumers

Reporter: Joel Richards 丨 CCTV.com

11-23-2016 05:23 BJT

As of this year, Chinese consumers can expect to find a wider range of Chilean wine, and, at a lower price. Ten years after a free-trade deal was signed, Chilean wines are now tariff-free.  And companies in Chile are hoping to toast new growth in the Chinese market. 

More than a hundred years ago, to scare thieves away from his best wines, Don Melchor, the founder of Chilean wineries company Concha y Toro, spread the rumor that the devil lived here. This is the Casillero del Diablo - 'the devil's cellar'. Last year, more than four million cases of the wine, named after this cellar, were sold around the world.

On the outskirts of Santiago, a highlight for visitors to the Concha y Toro vineyard is sampling the range of wines made here.

"As you know Concha y Toro is very large company, it produces lots of different brands. We have bottles from two dollars for a liter, that you buy at the supermarket, to wines that cost 250 dollars a bottle," said Kerstin Stranberg, Sommeilier, Concha Y Toro.

Selling to more than 140 countries, last year Concha y Toro's sales passed the one-billion-dollar mark. This company's performance abroad is representative of the Chilean export market and sales.

In 2014, the European market accounted for 35 percent of the company's sales, while the Asian market, on the other hand, accounted for just nine percent.

And, it is in Asia where, like all Chilean wine companies, Concha Y Toro is now focusing, especially since this year tariffs have been removed for wine exports to China.

Now, leading the company's drive in the Asian country is Cristian Lopez. And while he says his wines are well suited for the Chinese palate, he believes improved trade terms, alone, are not enough to help growth.

"It cannot be just to piggyback on the opportunity, you need to capitalize that opportunity, and for that there is strong will and investment and commitment which we have definitely have with the Chinese market," Cristian Lopez.

More than 20 Chilean wine companies now do business in China. The sector is optimistic about future business. But when it comes to success, as the saying goes, the devil, is in the detail.

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