south american wine one use

South America will become the second-biggest region by value in the UK wine market by 2018, industry players have predicted.

Cono Sur owner Concha y Toro said combined sales of Chilean and Argentinian wine would grow from £534m [IRI 52 w/e 30 January 2016] to £620m, based on a forward linear projection of IRI data. This level of growth would see it move up from fifth, overtaking France, Italy and the US. New Zealand (worth £300m), Chile and Argentina are the only countries in the top 10 - headed by Australia - showing growth over both the year to January and the past 12 weeks.

While some other countries are adding business as a result of increased frequency or volume per trip, the three are the only ones to have increased penetration - in all other cases, this is in decline.

Chris Wisson, senior drinks analyst at Mintel, said Chile and Argentina benefited from being well-known countries that relatively few Brits had visited. “Drinkers are becoming more receptive to wines from newer wine-producing countries, particularly those which have exotic cues,” he said.

Wisson said Concha y Toro’s forecasts seemed reasonable but he expressed caution about grouping Chile and Argentina as a single region.

Chile is about four times bigger in value and the sixth-largest country of origin in the UK, having edged ahead of Spain in the latest data. But Argentina is growing far more quickly, with the two making a similar contribution in absolute terms. Concha y Toro said it was common to consider them as a single region and that consumers think of them as connected.

Toni Ingram, head of marketing for wine at Pernod Ricard, said it was an “incredibly exciting time for wines from Argentina.”