Viña Concha y Toro (VCT), Chile’s largest wine group, has forged an exclusive partnership with COFCO Wine & Wine, China’s drinks beverage giant, to distribute two of its flagship brands, Casillero del Diablo and Diablo, for the Chinese market.
The alliance announced at China’s biggest drinkd fair in Chengdu would allow the Chilean wine group to access new distribution channels in the market through more than 500 stores operated by the Chinese state owned wine and spirits importing company. And it gives COFCO exclusive rights to Casillero del Diablo Reserva range and the more recently launched Diablo line for the local market.
Both wines characterised by its accessiblity and approachable style are expected to appeal to the country’s expanding younger drinkers who prefer easy and drinkable wines.
Commenting on the partnership, José González, Director of VCT China, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It was undoubtedly a memorable event. Bringing together more than 500 retailers and being able to present our brands to them in a solid way gives us the confidence to build together with them many new memorable experiences for the Chinese consumer.”
China is the important export market for the Chilean wine ahead of the US and UK. For VCT, despite pandemic restrictions and China’s sluggish imports, the group’s wine sales in the Chinese market exceeded market expectations.
In 2021, the group’s sales in China soared 57% in volume and 94% in value in US dollar. The following year, amid the coutnry’s tightened pandemic controls and tepid consumption, its export value to the market climbed a further 14.8% on lowered volume, as shown in the group’s annual report.
Blostered by China’s strong performance, the group launched its Chinese subsidary VCT China in 2021 to manage the local market. “VCT China is a subsidiary in a formative stage. Only two years into our vertical integration and with many difficulties due to strict travel restrictions during the pandemic, this alliance is a great first step towards consolidating our business in 2023. Having access to an established network of Wholesalers with a solid national presence is undoubtedly an important step towards building our focus brands,” added José González.
Founded in 1883, Viña Concha y Toro is Latin America’s leading wine producer. Its wines are exported to over 130 countries and with over 12,000 hectares of vineyards in Chile, Argentina, and the US.