Chilean wine producer Valdivieso sees export opportunity for sparkling wine in South American countries as costs push up prices of European alternatives.

Speaking to Just Drinks at the launch of its Caballo Loco brand’s white blend in London, Valdivieso export and import director Christian Sotomayor said South America was a “natural” move for the company.

He said the focus will be “huge markets like Brazil, interesting markets like Peru, Colombia, Mexico, etc”.

Sotomayor, also co-founder of Caballo Loco, said: “Sparkling wine will have a good space to grow [in South America] because important European sparkling wines like Prosecco, cremant and all that will become more expensive because of the [cost of] transportation.”

CEO Patricio Arenas, who joined the group in July following a career in the forestry industry, said sparkling wine was already “strong” in its domestic market, however, and it was turning its attention to still.

“I think we have some opportunities overseas and also in our domestic market,” he said. “In Chile we are very strong in sparkling wine but not so strong in the still wines. So maybe we can develop a new brand and maybe a new proposal for the Chilean market.

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“Caballo Loco is doing very well in our domestic market, but Valdivieso’s lines, in my feeling, could be stronger.”

Valdivieso’s top five export markets are Poland, Japan, Germany, the UK and Brazil.

Founded in Santiago in 1875, the company produces still and sparkling wines with a total production capacity of 11m bottles a year.

Its core wine ranges include Valdivieso Varietals, Winemaker´s Reserva, Valley Selection, Single Vineyard and Caballo Loco.

The group produces a range of dry and sweet sparkling wines made in both the traditional (Champagne) method and charmat method.

Valdivieso also manufactures beer, wine and spirits under a separate company, Licores Mitjans.

Licores Mitjans produces a namesake range of syrups and liquers, and wine brands including Centenaro and Diamante.

Valdivieso talks Caballo Loco, group strategy and potential in South America