Concha y Toro becomes world’s biggest
Chile’s Concha y Toro has become the biggest vineyard owner in the world following Treasury Wine Estate’s sale of its Asti Winery assets.
According to Treasury’s annual financial report for 2014, the group owned 10,781 hectares of vineyards, just over 30ha more than Concha y Toro’s total vineyard holding of 10,750ha – which includes the company’s 9,133ha in Chile, 1,154ha in Argentina and 463ha in the US, where it owns Fetzer and Bonterra.
However, news last week that Treasury was selling 275 acres (111ha) of vineyards in California’s Alexander Valley – along with its Asti Winery and Souverain brand – to Gallo, has put Treasury’s vineyard holding down to 10,670ha, 80ha fewer than Concha y Toro’s total.
Consequently, speaking to the drinks business last Tuesday, Thomas Domeyko, corporate export director, said, “We have become the wine business with the largest number of planted hectares in the world, not just because Treasury has sold vineyards to Gallo, but also because we are investing – we are adding around 200-300 hectares every year through planting and acquiring.”
He also said that such a strategy was prompted by the need to control supply for future Concha y Toro wine sales expansion.
“Concha y Toro want to control the sourcing of premium juice, and that requires significant investment in land and planting; we are not just buying wines to back up production, every wine we produce is made with grapes we crush ourselves, and for our premium wines, as much as possible with grapes from vineyards we own,” he stated.
He also stressed that Concha’s new plantings were part of an attempt to fully “explore” Chile.
Concha y Toro is the world’s third biggest wine brand, and sold 14.2m 9l cases in 2014, up 7.6% on 2013.
California’s E&J Gallo owns the world’s first and second biggest wines brands: Barefoot and Gallo respectively, but the company holds around 8,200ha of vineyard, including the 111ha it acquired last week from Treasury.