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Chile must use heritage to sell more wine

Chilean producers should put Incas on their labels to if they want to sell more wine abroad, one of the country's leading wine producers said this week.

Agustin Huneeus Snr, part owner of the Veramonte winery in Chile’s Casablanca valley, said there is a lack of cohesion between producers, no common message to the rest of the world, and no interest in selling the natural attributes of the country.

‘We should be capitalising on our familiar landmarks and images to help make the wines more distinctive on the crowded shelves in foreign markets,’ Huneeus, who also owns Franciscan Estates in California, said. ‘When people think of Chile, they think of the Andes, the Pacific and the Incas.’

He added there should be a coordinated approach to appellations, with these best-known ‘landmarks’ reflected in the DOs so that producers could put them on their labels. New DO regulations were introduced in Chile in July, but the regional denominations will be unfamiliar to many buyers.

‘It would make sense to introduce three appellations that correspond to these landmarks geographically and which producers could use on their labels – Pacific Coast, Andes Foothills and Inca Trail, for instance.’

At the same time Huneeus questioned the value of certain popular terms like ‘reserva’, which has no official definition and which Chilean producers can use freely. ‘We never use the term on our wines. It is meaningless,’ he said.

picture courtesy of chile.com

Written by Amy Wislocki in Chile10 December 2001

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