Chile is a significant player in the U.S. as its fourth-largest importer of bottled table wines. And Chile continues to grow, going into 2011 with a 15% increase in volume sales of bottled table wines in the off-premise sector, whereas volume sales of ALL imported bottled table wines increased by 4% as measured over the course of 52 weeks ended January 8, 2011 (source: Nielsen Company). In 2009, when imported wines in the U.S. were down 1%, Chilean wines grew 16%, one of the only countries to show growth in the U.S. (source: The Gomberg-Fredrikson Report).
In terms of varietals, Chile has a lot to offer:
- Sauvignon Blanc: Has experienced double digit growth annually for the last 5 years and now is Chile's 3rd largest imported varietal.
- Pinot Noir: New varietal in Chile that is starting to get attention as they are cool-climate wines that offer great quality and value.
- Carmenere: Chile's unique varietal and fastest growing red varietal in the US. American consumers love its unique story of the "lost grape of Bordeaux" and love its spicy flavor and soft tannins.