The Stars Align For Chile in the US Fine Wine Market

NEW YORK, Nov. 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Wines of Chile USA is proud to celebrate the brilliant performance of the Chilean wine industry in the 2015 edition of Wine Enthusiast magazine's Wine Star Awards. Chilean winery Santa Carolina was named New World Winery of the Year and Chilean winemaker Aurelio Montes was honored as Innovator of the Year. For the past 15 years, the Wine Star Awards have recognized individual leaders, wineries and wine regions notable for their groundbreaking vision, risk-taking courage and the skill to succeed.

New World Winery of the Year is a well-deserved award. "One visit to the historic Santa Carolina winery is it all takes to understand the winery's 140-year legacy and the passion with which the team honors it by producing the best wines in Santa Carolina's history," commented Marybeth Bentwood, Executive Director, Wines of Chile USA. "One visit to the Montes winery is it all takes to understand the accomplishments resulting in the awarding of Innovator of the Year to Aurelio Montes." A pioneer of Apalta, Montes was the first in Chile to plant on slopes, the first to market luxury Chilean wine in the US and is actively pushing the boundaries on winemaking exploring the country's geographic extremes."

The vision, dedication and efforts of these awardees, as well as the category they represent are applauded by Wines of Chile USA. The awardees represent Chile's focus on excellent quality and are figureheads for the future of Chilean wines the US market.

Their diverse premium offerings, outstanding quality, and significant investment in innovations have led to Chile's advances in the above $10 category in the US. According to IRI retail data (52 weeks ending 10-04-2015), the total US sales for Chilean wine have increased in the past year across the following categories: $15 - $19.99 (14%) and $20 and up (6.5%). Additionally, Chilean Cabernet, recognized for its outstanding quality-to-price ratio also increased in the same categories: $15-$19.99 (28%) and $20 and up (21%).

These well-deserved Wine Star Awards reflect not only decades of dedication by Viña Santa Carolina and Aurelio Montes to developing their fine wine categories, but also mark a turning point in Chile's growth in the US wine market.

"These leaders are a cornerstone to Chile's fine wine advances in the US and mark the beginning of a new chapter for Chile in the US luxury fine wine market," said Bentwood.

The Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards ceremony will take place on January 25, 2016 in New York City. Wines of Chile USA applauds the forward-thinking vision of Wine Enthusiast magazine in championing the Chilean wine category.

About Wines of Chile

Wines of Chile is an organization committed to promoting the quality and image of Chilean wine throughout the world. It has offices in Santiago, London and New York, as well as representatives in Canada, Ireland and Denmark. Wines of Chile also works closely with ProChile to develop and offer promotional and educational programs in Asia, Latin America and Europe. Wines of Chile's 86 member wineries belong to Vinos de Chile and represent 88 percent of Chile's bottled wine exports.

About Nonni Strategic Marketing

Nonni Strategic Marketing is an agency of record for Wines of Chile USA. Founded in 2009, the company is a hands-on, family-owned marketing company that builds food and beverage producers' brands with commercial, marketing and communications strategy. Nonni Strategic Marketing works closely with commercial partners at all levels of the supply chain and with media to develop and activate marketing levers that support clients' bottom line: sales.

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Source: Wines ofChile