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Chilean wine bodies join forces

Published:  23 July, 2008

The two major bodies representing Chilean wineries have united to form a single association.

Vias de Chile and Chilevid merged at the beginning of January and will now be known as Vinos de Chile. Based in Santiago, the new body will represent about 90% of Chile's exporting wineries.

Vias de Chile, formed in 1950, was an association for larger producers, while Chilevid, formed in 1993, looked after smaller wineries. Both aimed to develop export markets for members and had worked together to form and fund the promotional body Wines of Chile in 2002.

However, Wines of Chile UK director Michael Cox said: Working with two bodies was never ideal - they didn't have identical agendas and could prove anachronistic. The merger has been on the cards for some time and it's no surprise. The two have been thrashing it out politically so egos weren't hurt.'

Amrico Hernandez of Via Ventisquero said: One organisation will be much more efficient and Chilean producers will get answers more quickly. Chilean wines need more recognition and if we can become more organised we can concentrate on showing the world that we are high-quality producers.'