Max Morales
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Redefining Southern Chile’s Ñuble region

With the creation of the new region of Ñuble, which borders the southern Chilean region of Bio-Bio, various challenges will arise in the agro-vitivinicultural context that should be addressed in order to operate properly and expand business opportunities in this important economic sector of Southern Chile.

Photo credit: Andes Wines

Concepción should take the lead in the Bio-Bio region, and Chillán therefore emerges as the capital of the new region of Ñuble, both with a viticultural vocation. Ñuble will have three provinces: Itata Valley, Punilla and Diguillín, territories that have great potential to produce quality grapes that must be analysed, as well as enhancing the viticulture and oenology of centuries-old vineyards that have been produced since the arrival of the Spaniards.

Considering that the Bio-Bio region loses completely the Itata Valley, which has achieved international recognition in the past few years, it will face a great challenge if it wishes to promote the ancient and emerging viticulture of the area of San Rosendo, Laja, Nacimiento and all the edge of the river that runs from the mountain range to the Pacific Ocean, including some vineyards located in the area of Cabrero and Yumbel. These areas will be their letters of introduction and the possible identification of new productive sectors due to the interest of investors in exploring new ranges to establish vineyards.

One of the most important and complex challenges to accomplish will be to communicate globally that the region of Ñuble will comprise the subregions of Guarilihue, Coelemu, Portezuelo and Quillón, which previously belonged to Bío Bio. Therefore everything that was known must be changed, which is a process that will take a while.

The challenge of both the new region of Ñuble and Bio Bio in the wine context will be to professionalise the activity and optimise decision making considering that now we must work independently with objectives that may potentially be different due to the existing producers in both regions. The allocation of resources for projects to decisions on how to execute projects will be affected, therefore, professionals must be found for new positions that must be created.

Photo credit: Andes Wines

The Bio Bio region lost a vast part of the internationally recognised old vineyards located in the Itata Valley [to Ñuble], and possesses few hectares planted in the last 20 years. Consequently this is why vineyards that are on the banks of the river of the same name should be registered, where there are territories such as San Rosendo, Nacimiento, and more towards the sector of Cabrero and Yumbel, where there has been a limited development of the production of wines from both old and recently established vineyards.

Once again, the wine marketing strategies for positioning both the new region and the wines that are in this new territory will be the Achilles heel, given there are now two regions with the same human capital that has been separated, specifically in the Itata Valley. It will be necessary to incorporate technical professionals with knowledge of the area and who have been in other regions to execute the public policies of the new and old region.

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