Christian CALLEC

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Posted by Christian Callec on dinsdag, september 11th, 2012

ProChile, Wines of Chile and the Dutch top agency Melman Communications joined forces for a wonderful presentation and tasting of Chilean wines in the Netherlands. The well visited event took place on September 3 2012 at the Double Tree (by Hilton) hotel in Amsterdam. It was a warm and open minded gathering of wine importers, retailers, sommeliers, wine & food writers and of course Chilean winery ambassadors, oenologists and export managers.


The program started with workshop for professionals. There were more people present than available place, which is actually showing how important and interesting Chilean wines are for the Dutch market. After some introduction and welcome words, the Benelux ProChile Director Christophe Desplas (former Marketing Director for Carolina Wine Brands) gave us some major fixtures about Chilean wine in the NL. It was good to see that the Dutch market is really open and friendly for Chilean wine. In 2011 the export of bottled Chilean wine increased impressively with 23%! In the past 5 years, the growth average was 17%! In the first half of 2012, the export increased again with 2.8%, making the Netherlands going to the 5th position in the world ranking for total bottled Chilean wine, behind USA, UK, Japan and Brazil.


The freshly named new Managing Director for Wines of Chile, Claudio Cilvetti (former Marketing Director of the VSP – San Pedro Wines – group) presented the latest developments in the world op Chilean premium wines.

Claudio Cilvetti, Managing Director Vinos de Chile (archive picture)

Not much news for me, except the new Sustainability Code issued by the Chilean wine industry. This ‘code’ is a mix of proactive environment friendly, economically viable and socially equitable processes to enhance the quality image and competition ability of the Chilean wine industry. First stage is already implemented, the ‘green area certification’ for viticulture, water/fertilizers/pesticides & insecticides management and ecosystem protection. From 2012 to 2014, the next two stages will be implemented, the ‘community certification’ (human resources, work conditions, community outreach, supplier’s relationship, air quality…) and the ‘winery certification’ (wine quality, water management, energy efficiency, residue management…). For more information, please have a look HERE

The Commercial Director of the well-known and highly respected Dutch wine importer Verbunt, Peter van Houtert, followed with a dynamic, passionate and very interesting speech about building the image of a Premium Chilean wine brand (Montes) in the Dutch market.

The ‘main course’ of this workshop was the tasting of 11 premium/super premium/icon wines, pre-selected by ProChile (unfortunately seemingly more ‘politically correct’ than really ‘oenological’ representative considering a few wines on the list). The tasting was labelled as ‘The B side’ of the Chilean wine industry, which I found sounding much too negative. Our ‘host’ and ‘guide’ during the tasting was Cees van Casteren (wine writer and author of the book about Chilean wines ‘Paradiso’). All the wines were meant to present either a special ‘new area’ characteristic or for Chile uncommon grape variety or blend.

Please read some personal comments about the wines we tasted in the next article

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