Sonya Hook

Chilean winery Anakena has released its 2006 vintage Sauvignon Blanc into the UK off-trade, with an emphasis on targeting the independent retailer.

The winery expects the wine, priced between £4.99 and £5.49 a bottle, to be more popular than its 2005 vintage because this year offers even more quality.

"Our Sauvignon Blanc has been very strong through the independents," said commercial director Raul Beckdorf. "It is a trendy variety globally and Chile as a whole has improved its white wine quality."

For the year ahead, Anakena will be focusing on its premium offerings in the UK, including its Ona sub-brand. Beckdorf said the range reflects the creativity of the winery and winemaker Gonzalo Pérez, and offers unusual blends. "We do one of the only Pinot Noir blends from Chile, blended with Merlot, Syrah and Viognier," said Pérez.

"Chile is really pushing regionality and terroir," said Beckdorf. "You have to take the risk or you will lose your personality."

The company hopes to do more joint ventures and expand on its existing JV with The Co-op, which commissioned a Chardonnay Viognier wine specifically from the producer, branded with the Anakena name rather than own-label.

Beckdorf said Anakena's exports currently total 240,000 cases a year and he wants to reach 300,000 in the next few years globally. "I would like to see the UK doing 50,000 cases up from its current 20,000."

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