Wines of Chile is set to open a London office by the end of the year, eighteen months after unexpectedly closing up its operation here.

A steering committee has been formed in London with a view to putting together a plan for UK marketing. It is chaired by Patrick McGrath, managing director of distributors Hatch Mansfield, which imports premium Chilean producer Errazuriz – other members include Dan Jago, MD of Bibendum, Mike Paul of Western Wines and Christian Lopez of Concha y Toro.

McGrath told decanter.com a director of Wines of Chile International had been appointed in Santiago, who would work out a strategy for global marketing.

‘We expect to open an office in London by the end of the year,’ he said, adding that offices in Frankfurt and possibly Japan and the USA had been mooted.

The new office will concentrate on selling wines in the £5-£10 sector, working on the principle that Chile can offer better value in that sector than rivals Australia and Argentina.

‘We believe that should be the future strategy for Chilean wine,’ McGrath said.

Wines of Chile closed its London operation unexpectedly in December 2000 after government funding was withdrawn.

Written by Adam Lechmere9 July 2002