Chilean wine company Viñedos y Bodegas Córpora, which owns value-priced brands Viña Gracia, Viña Porta, Viña Agustinos and Veranda, is expanding beyond the major regions--Rapel and Maipo, primarily--in which it currently operates. The company has made a major purchase in the Bío Bío Valley, one of Chile's southernmost wine-producing regions.
The company has acquired the Canata winery and 2,070 acres of land, 660 of which are currently under vine. Canata's wines were not previously exported to the United States. The property has another 700-plus acres of plantable land, according to Córpora CEO Jorge Goles. The purchase price was not disclosed.
The Bío Bío Valley, located more than 240 miles south of Santiago, features a cool climate ideal for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Riesling. The region has drawn increasing interest from Chilean wineries in recent years. Córpora has also started construction on a new winery facility in the Bío Bío Valley (in addition to the just-purchased facility), which will produce approximately 6,000 cases a year of higher-end wines for the Porta, Gracia and Agustinos labels, beginning with the 2007 vintage. Chief assistant winemaker Louis Vallet will oversee the production at the new facility, along with the head winemakers for each brand line.
Prior to the purchase, Córpora owned over 2,400 acres of vines spread over all the major wine-producing valleys in Chile. The company produced 600,000 cases of wine annually, primarily in the value price range.
Viñedos y Bodegas Córpora began wine production in 1989, and is part of the Corpora Group, which includes companies that handle fruit and other food and beverage production.