Chilean wine producer Viña Ventisquero has denied rumours that the company has been put up for sale for around US$80m.

The future of Ventisquero, which produces a stable of wines including Yali and Ventisquero, had become the subject of speculation in and outside Chile.

However, Melanie Whatmore, deputy marketing manager at Ventisquero, told just-drinks that talk of a sale is "absolutely not true".

"There is not even an intention of selling. We have seen very strong growth in a short time and we are focusing on building our brands," she said today (4 December).

Whatmore added that Ventisquero, which ranks as Chile's 13th largest wine exporter, is aiming to break into the country's top 10 in terms of overseas sales.

There was speculation in Chile that Pernod Ricard was eyeing Ventisquero and had had a takeover bid of around $40m turned down.

Whatmore again cooled the speculation. "We've heard those rumours here but they're not true either," she said.

Officials at Pernod could not be reached for comment as just-drinks went to press.

The Chilean wine industry has been hit by the strength of the country's peso against the US dollar, which has hurt earnings at a number of wine producers. There has been speculation in Chile that the tougher trading conditions could lead to a raft of consolidation throughout the wine industry.

Whatmore, however, said Ventisquero would be an active participant in any consolidation. She added: "If anything, Ventisquero would buy smaller wineries, so consolidation for us would be about growing the company rather than selling."