American Estates bets on Chilean imports to boost New World sales
Estampa Vineyards named as exclusive Chilean property
Summit, New Jersey (March 24, 2010) – American Estates Wines, considered the longest operating importer of New Zealand wines to the US, and Estampa Vineyards of the Colchagua Valley, Chile have signed a mutually exclusive importation agreement for the US. Estampa, an estate property owned by Chile’s Gonzalez-Ortiz family, aims to boost American Estates’ antipodean-focused wine sales, as a growing source from South America.
Since 2005, Estampa has built a direct wholesale network in the US that will be rolled into American Estates’ national distribution. In addition to the United States, American Estates will also represent Estampa in Puerto Rico and select Caribbean markets.
“American Estates is an excellent fit for Estampa in the US and I am confident that their experience and focus on family-owned properties will add value to our distribution chain,” states Marie Chaisson, Sales & Marketing Director of the Americas and Japan for Estampa.
“Estampa is AEW’s first South American selection. It’s a great fit for us, at several levels, including: wine style, in-demand price points, and positioning for growth in a growing category,” said George Galey, President of American Estates.
The news begs to ask if this is part of a new tendency where Chile will be the next New World region to experience a boom as other categories begin to mature. Imports of Chilean bottled wine to the US were up 15% year to date in November 2009 and up 17% in value over the same period, according to Gomberg Fredrikson & Associates.
“American Estates Wines is a very well respected importer with wines from the greatest regions in the world,” says Lori Tieszen, Executive Director for Wines of Chile USA. “It is a positive sign for our industry that an importer of that caliber has chosen Chile as their region for expansion.”
Estampa, whose first vintage was in 2001, is the only Chilean winery dedicated to the production of assemblage wines, or the careful blending of two or more noble grape varieties. The estate property is located in the highly acclaimed Colchagua Valley.
Founded in 1986 by George Galey, American Estates Wines selects, imports and markets single vineyard and small estate wines from California, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and now Chile. American Estates is listed by The Wine Advocate as one of the top specialty importers in the US.