‘Triple whammy’ will mean Chilean price rises

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Drinks: Wines
Location: Chile
Other: Business

Price pressure will mean retailers have to rethink how they use Chile, though the on-trade will be less affected. That’s the analysis of Peter Greet, commercial director of Luis Felipe Edwards, one of Chile’s most influential wineries.

Chilean prices are being affected by what Greet calls the ‘triple whammy’ of duty rises, a weak Sterling and shortages of fruit caused by two smaller than expected vintages.

2016 looked like a bumper year, but was hit by rain at harvest which meant that a lot of fruit was unpickable, and ended up 15-20% below expectations. While 2017 was a naturally smaller vintage throughout the growing season, hit by frost and a dry summer, and was 25% below average size.

The combination of two short years on the trot has left wineries with little or no wine in reserve, and many are looking to eke out sales before replenishing their tanks in 2018 – a situation which is likely to mean price rises.

‘Retailers will have to rethink how Chile works,’ Greet told Imbibe. ‘Though in restaurants Chile can probably retain its position. It’s still the best producer of good quality entry level varieties at those prices.’

About Author

Chris Losh

After five years working on My Weekly magazine (during which time he learned how to write horoscopes and make things out of mince) in 1995 Chris Losh entered the world of drinks writing and, despite all advice from his doctor – and the wishes of most South African winemakers – has stayed there ever since. He began on Wine and Spirit International, editing it for several years before moving on to edit Wine Magazine. Both publications have since gone the way of the Dodo, but he claims to have nothing to do with their demise, and his alibi appears solid, since he was freelance writing for anyone who would pay him at the time. In 2007, he helped to set up both Imbibe magazine and the Sommelier Wine Awards, and has spent much of the last three years eating, drinking, and listening to French sommeliers talk about minerality. In 2009 he was shortlisted for the Louis Roederer Feature Writer of the Year, but didn’t win. Perhaps he should have stuck to horoscopes. And mince.

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