Cono Sur to launch organic range in UK next year

Chilean wine brand Cono Sur is to launch a range of organic wines, comprised of a Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, red blend and a Malbec, in the UK next year.

Cono Sur, part of Concha Y Toro and the owner of the UK’s best-selling Pinot label Bicicleta, is making the move in order to capitalise on the growing demand for organic wine in the UK.

The range, which is already available in markets such as Canada and Scandinavia, will now be brought to the UK, priced at around the £9 per bottle mark.

Speaking to the drinks business, Cono Sur’s brand manager, Antonia Feres, said: “This is the organic version of Bicicleta. The wines are 100% organic and that’s the reason they’re priced higher than Bicicleta (RRP: £7).

“We need more volume as we have a lot of markets wanting to take our organic range.”

Marketing director Alberto Tiravanti explained that the company had been able to increase the volume of its organic range in order to meet demand.

“We’ve been increasing our total sales by two digits each year, but of course to make organic wine is more difficult. So we’ve increased the surface area we have planted with organic grapes, so that’s the reason we’ve been able to offer these wines to the UK,” he said.

When asked whether the ultimate idea was to become completely organic, Feres stated that the focus would remain just on this range.

“We’re not going to go completely organic – we don’t want to compete with Emiliana [a separate company which is owned by the Guilisasti family, which in turn controls Concha Y Toro]. It’s not our focus.

“What we do want to do for next year however, is to put the ‘vegan friendly’ label on our wines. At the moment, our whites are fully vegan but our reds are not yet certified. We’re in the process of doing that.”

The labels for the organic range are made from recycled paper and feature the brand’s recognisable bicycle symbol, this time coloured in green.

The organic red blend is comprised of Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenere and Syrah. The organic Pinot Noir is aged 70% in barrels for eight months, with the remaining 30% is aged in stainless steel tanks.

With just ‘Chile’ stated on the label, Feres explained that this was because the grapes used are taken from two different areas.

“We mix grapes from two different valleys,” she said. “We source grapes from our Santa Elisa Estate in the Colchagua Valley and the Campo Lindo Estate in San Antonio. Before, we only used grapes from Colchagua, but we decided to blend in grapes from San Antonio to give the wine more freshness and some mineral notes.”

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