Chile's wineries are expecting to see significant long-term benefits after their country signed a free-trade agreement with the United States, winery Viña Valdivieso's export manager Christian Sotomayor said.

Chilean wines are currently subject to duty of 12.5% in the US, but the new treaty will reduce that figure by a percentage point per year until it reaches zero in 12 years' time.

The trade deal will give Chile a significant long-term advantage over other New World wine exporters to the United States, but Sotomayor said he was not expecting to see any major changes over the short term.

The marketing manager noted that the Chilean wine industry is no longer interested in dramatically expanding its volume of exports, and he said exporters were more likely to continue with their present policy of promoting higher value products and filling niches in the US market.