Wines of Chile has announced plans to open its first office in New York City in a bid to establish a strong foothold in the US.

The office, the company said today (15 January), will be housed in the new Puro Chile complex at Grand and Centre streets in downtown Manhattan, scheduled to open in early 2009.

Lori Tieszen, previously senior vice president of Hennessy in the US, has been hired by Wines of Chile to manage the new US headquarters, and work alongside public relations firm RFBinder Partners to execute marketing activities for the organisation.

"The US has become a top priority for the Chilean wine industry and we look forward to establishing a strong foothold in this very important market," said Juan Somavia, managing director of Wines of Chile.