Chile’s San Pedro Wine Group has taken over Viña Leyda in a surprise US$6-8m deal.

San Pedro CEO Pablo Turner said with the deal the group now had a presence in what he described as ‘the two most interesting emerging wine zones on the local scene.’

Turner was referring to San Antonio, where Viña Leyda not only makes its own wines but conducts a significant business selling grapes, and Limarí, where the group’s subsidiary Tabalí is located.

Sources within San Pedro confirmed that both Tabalí and Viña Leyda would continue to operate autonomously with their current teams still in place.

The news comes shortly after San Pedro announced annual losses of some US$1.75m (CLP950m) for 2006 on the Santiago Stock Exchange. The losses were ascribed by the group to restructuring within the company, the adverse exchange rate and a tough global wine market.

  • In other investment news, the Spanish Ortega Gil-Fournier family, owners of the O Fournier winemaking group that operates wineries in Ribera del Duero and Argentina, has signed a deal to produce their first Chilean wine.

    The wines will be sourced from old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carignan from Maule and Sauvignon Blanc from Leyda, and made by former Tabalí winemaker Yanira Maldonado. The first white is set to be released towards the end of the year.

    Written by Peter Richards