Category Focus: New world order
Chile and Argentina, part of the ‘New World’ group of wine producers, are among Ireland’s most popular imports thanks to their diversity, price points and clever marketing, as demonstrated by these new and renewed offerings from both countries’ most respected and historic producers
15 August 2019
According to data from the Revenue Commissioner, the average per-adult alcohol consumption has declined steadily in Ireland over the past two decades, by a total of 23.3%. Despite this overall trend, 2017 saw a marginal increase in wine consumption, 0.47% to be precise*.
It may be a tiny climb, but this nonetheless reflects the growing popularity of wine among Irish consumers; similarly, sales of wine increased in 2017 from 9m cases to 9.1m*. The Irish Wine Association (IWA) report also confirms that wine is Ireland’s second-most popular alcoholic beverage, after beer. Wine’s market share increased to 27.7% in 2017.
Meanwhile, Chilean wine has long been one of Ireland’s highest-selling wine regions. Diverse regions, complex but accessible varieties, clever marketing and competitive pricing all lead to an accessible country of origin and repeat custom from loyal consumers. Argentinean wines have also established a stronghold in Irish wine cabinets, rapidly expanding exports over the last ten years. Constant innovation and evolution are the order of the day in Chile and Argentina, along with – as with most other sectors – a new focus on sustainability.
Read on for the lowdown on the newest offerings for late summer, autumn and beyond from these two excellent ‘New World’ wine producers
*(Source: IWA Wine Market Report, 20 August 2018)
Founded in 1880, Viña Santa Rita is one of Chile’s oldest and most respected wine producers. The commitment to quality in Santa Rita’s wines starts in the vineyards, all of which are ‘Certified Sustainable’ by Wines of Chile. The ‘WiSe Project’ in the Maipo Valley is a revolutionary approach to ‘growing wine’ by mapping and replanting varietal-specific plots, working through a code of best practices, parameters and principles, all with a $20 million investment plan.
Santa Rita prides itself on being “a real brand, from a real place, made by real people”, and to that end, all of its winemakers take personal pride in producing the best wines from the best grape producing regions – all of which represent exceptional value for money. The Santa Rita 120 Early Harvest Sauvignon Blanc (RRP €12.50) is a relatively new Chile addition to Ireland’s best-selling wine brand, and it is perfect for those long summer days. The idea behind this wine is to have the youngest, freshest wine on the market with grapes being picked earlier this year, bottled and shipped to arrive in time for summer 2019. The Santa Rita Rosé (RRP €12.50) is another great way to celebrate summer.
Made from 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Syrah, this limited edition Rosé is a fantastically well balanced, complex yet elegant wine which works well with food but is equally good as an aperitif. To learn more, visit www.santarita.com.
Santa Rita and Arsenal FC renew brand partnership To coincide with the commencement of the 2019/2020 Premier League season, Santa Rita has renewed its alliance with legendary English football club Arsenal. The sponsorship deal extends for a further three years, and commences with the global marketing campaign ‘Living la Vida 120’. The campaign aims to reach consumers and football fans in all corners of the world with the duo’s shared values of history, class and tradition, while promoting its wines in key markets.
On a more practical level, the agreement includes exclusivity for Santa Rita wines and sparkling wines in Arsenal’s home ground Emirates Stadium, as well as branded signage at all home games. Branded content will be shared across both brands’ digital and social channels, involving Arsenal’s current squad, management and “club legends”.
“We are delighted to continue building on this fruitful relationship with Arsenal,” says Santa Rita chairman Baltazar Sánchez, “which will impact both fans and consumers across the globe.
“Over the initial period of our partnership,” Sanchez continues, “Santa Rita reached millions of football fans on TV, as well as making our wines available to more than 5 million fans at Emirates Stadium in London. In addition, we have launched the exclusive Santa Rita Arsenal co-branded wine, bringing the Arsenal brand closer to our consumers.”
Arsenal commercial director Peter Silverstone says the club looks forward to helping Santa Rita build its presence in existing markets, and target further markets.
Quality and authenticity
Doña Paula is one of the rising stars of Argentina. Born out of a vision to create the highest quality wines with authenticity, from the best wine producing areas within the worldfamous wine producing region of Mendoza. As always, Doña Paula’s viticultural and winemaking team are the driving passion behind the brand. All of its wines are made with grapes grown on land managed using sustainable practices.
Located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in desertlike conditions, Doña Paula’s vineyards produce wines with great depth and elegant aromas, and with a range of tiers there is a price and style to suit every budget and palate.
Malbec is the main focus within the brand, with the Doña Paula Estate Malbec (RRP €16) considered a benchmark wine for Argentine Malbec. Made from grapes grown in the Uco Valley, it is an elegant wine, wellstructured with great balance and finesse. For more information, visit www.donapaula.com.
South America’s star
Ampersand’s Chilean wine brand, Santa Carolina has revamped the traditional Estrellas collection of wines within the range. The new packaging is contemporary and classy, has more prominent branding and a distinct, recognisable icon. Estrellas wines are expected to be a hit with Irish consumers when they arrive on shelves in the coming months, and have already received extremely positive feedback from retailers and loyal Estrellas customers.
A major symbol of Santa Carolina, Estrella translates to “star” in Spanish and represents Santa Carolina’s Chilean heritage and its constant quest for innovation while continuing to honour its history, past and values. The light of a star reaches farther than time: it transcends, enlightens, and guides every member of the Viña Santa Carolina team.
Estrellas wines are made with grapes sourced from the Rapel valley, an area with a long winegrowing tradition that is considered the cradle of internationally recognised wines. This valley is renowned for its well-defined seasons, with cold and rainy winters and hot summers, with sharp temperature variations between day and night. Grapes attain optimum ripeness thanks to excellent sun exposure, long summers, and no rain at the time of harvest.
Estrellas is available from Ampersand in the following grape varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc. Ampersand has supplied Santa Carolina wines to the Irish market over the past 25 years. Santa Carolina has a diverse portfolio, offering consumers excellent quality wines in all price ranges.
Ampersand also represents the Antares, Premio and Reserva ranges from Santa Carolina. The Santa Carolina portfolio offers wines that express origin, personality and freshness and are ideal for any occasion. To place an order, contact your Ampersand sales representative or call the sales line on 01 413 0150.