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Concha y Toro Doubles Down On Organic Wines In The U.S. Market

August 2, 2022

After crossing the $1 billion mark in 2021, Chile’s Viña Concha y Toro saw sales climb 9% to $209 million in its first quarter ended in March, with EBITDA up 10% to $38 million. The increase came as Concha y Toro raised prices, including a 9.6% rise in average prices in the sales mix for the U.S., where the business averaged $48.60 per-case during the quarter. According to Impact Databank, the Concha y Toro brand family totaled 1.8 million cases in the U.S. last year, with upscale labels Gran Reserva and Marques de Casa Concha up strongly from small bases and lower price tiers declining. The California-based Bonterra brand neared a half-million cases on 5% growth, while Argentina’s Trivento rose 10% to 109,000 cases. Today, Concha y Toro is rebranding its U.S. business as Bonterra Organic Estates to emphasize its focus on organic wines as consumers increasingly prioritize sustainably grown brands. SND executive editor Daniel Marsteller caught up with Bonterra Organic Estates CEO Giancarlo Bianchetti in the first part of this two-part interview.

SND: How are current trends impacting the development of Bonterra Organic Estates’ various brands moving forward?

Bianchetti: Innovation is a constant at Bonterra Organic Estates and at our parent company Viña Concha y Toro. The consumer’s desire for organics and purpose-driven products, as well as outstanding quality, are at the heart of our product development. Additionally, we know that conscious consumption is a significant driver of premium wine brands, and we’ll continue to embrace that trend through our third-party certifications such as B Corp, ROC, and Climate Neutral. This same ‘mindfulness’ trend also fuels the rapid growth of the low/no alcohol category, which we’re entering in 2023 with Fetzer’s low-calorie, low-alcohol Sauvignon Blanc.

To meet the surging interest in the RTD category, this summer we launched Bonterra Bubbles, a California Rosé and Brut, priced at $5 per 250-ml. can, the first nationally available organically farmed sparkling wine in cans. 1000 Stories, our winery that pioneered Bourbon barrel-aged wines, is debuting two innovative wines to meet the growing demand for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Aged in virgin American oak sourced from Eastern Minnesota, these wines ($20 a 750-ml.) launch our American Barrel-Aged program.

Lastly, consumers require transparency in all aspects of our business—from how we farm to who leads our business. We’re proud to have two generations of Guilisasti women in leadership. Isabel Guilisasti, a second-generation shareholder and executive vice president of the Origin Collection, directs our fine wine portfolio in the United States. Her daughter, Isabel Mitarakis, is a third-generation Guilisasti and the winemaker behind our newly launched brand, Unrated, which appeals to a younger audience.

SND: What are you aiming to convey to the market with the new moniker for the U.S. business?

Bianchetti: The Bonterra brand was created by Fetzer Vineyards in the late 1980s, and at that time organic was something of a niche. Now organic is mainstream, and Bonterra is today one of the fastest-growing premium wine brands in the United States due to strong consumer demand for organic wine. Now is the moment to share with the world that we’ve been practicing regenerative organic farming for decades. We have the heritage, the knowledge, and the quality of the wine—and we have a responsibility as an organization to address the real threat of climate change. Embracing Bonterra Organic Estates as our company name is a bold statement that keeps us accountable to always do better for our community, customers, and future generations.

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