Concha y Toro is looking to up its presence in Africa through the creation of a subsidiary in the region.

VCT Africa & Middle East (PTY) Ltd will begin operations in April, the company said yesterday (28 February). Through its office in Cape Town, the division will focus on “commercial matters, and distribution in the African continent …  through (Concha y Toro's) present associate distributors”, the firm said.

The opening of the office signals the arrival of the first Chilean winery with a fixed presence in Africa.

“With VCT Africa & Middle East, we will be able to deepen and work the markets in much more detail,” said Concha y Toro's manager of north zone exports, Thomas Domeyko. “Given the physical remoteness of the continent and the particular characteristics of each of its countries, it is necessary to be very close to their requirements and needs, and thus be able to work and see opportunities for strengthening our brands.”

Concha y Toro has been present in the region since 2001 and is now active in 28 countries across the continent. In 2011, African sales totalled US$11m for the company, representing 2.5% of group exports.