Major Chilean producer Córpora has announced the purchase of local winery Canata as well as a significant expansion drive in the Bío Bío area of Chile.

Bío Bío is being touted as one of Chile’s most promising new cooler-climate regions.

Virtually unknown a few years ago, it has risen to fame on the back of acclaimed whites made from Chardonnay, Riesling and Gewürztraminer, while reds such as Pinot Noir have also shown potential.

The Córpora announcement is a vote of confidence by a company that owns extensive vineyards in eight of Chile’s thirteen wine regions.

The purchase of Canata, hitherto the only quality producer with a winery in Bío Bío, makes Córpora by far the region’s biggest player, with 630ha of vines and at least 300ha more available for planting.

Córpora, which produces brands including Gracia, Agustinos, Veranda and Porta, also plans to build a new, ultra-premium winery in Bío Bío by the end of 2007 on its Santa Ana estate.

Córpora CEO Jorge Goles told decanter.com, ‘The company is expanding. 2006 has been the best year in Córpora’s wine history.’

Bío Bío is one of Chile’s most southerly wine regions and currently has a total of 1,872ha of planted vineyard, only a small proportion of which is made into quality wine.

Written by Peter Richards