UPDATE - UK: New Chile wine body "will not change" industry focus
The establishment of a new umbrella organisation for Chile's wine industry will not bring any changes to promotional body Wines of Chile, according to the head of the body in the UK.
Vinos de Chile, a merger of Viñas de Chile and Chilevid, established its board of directors today (24 July). The two organisations had previously represented different types of wineries - Viñas de Chile worked for the larger wineries and exporters, while Chilevid represented boutique and smaller wine companies.
Speaking to just-drinks, Michael Cox, the UK director of Wines of Chile, highlighted that the move would prove of great benefit to the country's wine industry.
"The only change will be more improved unity, communication and funding," Cox said. "Instead of two bodies liasing with the Government, we now have one. It'll be easier to get results and decisions."
Cox also said that Wines of Chile would see minimal disruption from the move. "Nothing has changed for us," he said. "The two associations had a lot in common in the past, but with different agendas. Wines of Chile was formed by the two organisations (in 2002), so instead of having two paymasters, we now have one.
"This show of unity might not have happened five years ago," Cox added. "There's been a change in attitude in the country's wine industry, to have more unity, to lobby the Government and to regulate the industry."
Vinos de Chile will represent 95 wineries and 95% of the country's exported wine output. Following a vote by 67 winery representatives, Casa Tamaya winery's general manager, René Merino, was voted president and San Pedro Winery's Javier Bitar has been elected vice-president.
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