Chilean fizz to take on Taittinger
Viña Errázuriz is set to launch two sparkling wines that it says “will compete with Taittinger and Bollinger.”
In a first for the Chilean winery, Viña Errázuriz will launch two premium sparkling wines, a Blanc de Blanc and a traditional method blend, both from the 2016 vintage, that it intends to stand side by side with the likes of Taittinger and Bollinger.
“Our aim is to compete with Champagne,” Pilar Moreno, marketing director, Viña Errázuriz, told the drinks business. “Taittinger and Bollinger were our benchmarks when creating our sparkling wines. They were the brands we put on the table to compare against our products.”
Errázuriz is confident that consumers will choose its Chilean fizz over well-known Champagne brands due to its existing premium positioning, though says it is in the early stages of the sparkling project.
“We have very strong credentials for cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay production, and many international consumers know us already,” said Moreno. “Our new sparkling wines have a very fresh, mineral style. Five years spent in bottle gives all the characteristics of a Champagne – the toasted brioche flavours, for example. But we offer a very balanced and fresh product compared with Champagne.”
The brand will begin with very small production for its first sparkling vintage – just 1,500 cases are to be sold worldwide, split between the two wines. However, Errázuriz intends to increase its sparkling volumes next year.
“Sparkling is one of the most booming categories for wine. Why can we not compete in this?” said Moreno.
Priced in the UK market at £29.99, the two wines will be available via Hatch Mansfield.
Errázuriz told db that it was fortunate to have started its sparkling product five years ago before the global bottle crisis, as obtaining glass for bottles in Chile has been a struggle in recent months.
“Fortunately, our sparkling wines were bottled five years ago, before the bottle shortage. If we were to have started this project now, it would have been impossible.”
While Chilean sparkling wine is hugely popular in the domestic market, most local consumers opt for entry-level prices, making shifting a premium sparkler in Chile a tall order. It is for this reason that Errázuriz took the decision to export its fizz overseas, an option which few Chilean wineries take due to the crowded market, with Prosecco, Cava, Champagne and English Sparkling all competing for shelf space.
“Chileans are not buying premium sparkling wines,” the brand explained. “Consumers in Chile are more in the £7-£14 bracket. It’s a very small segment who would go above this.”
Consquently, only 100 cases will be made available domestically, which will be sold via “private, targeted sales to people we already know.”
Last week, the drinks business reported that fellow Chilean winery, Vik, is launching its own Champagne. Hailing from the 2009 vintage, the fizz is a Chardonnay-Pinot Noir blend from “exceptional terroirs in Champagne” according to Cristian Vallejo, Vik’s chief winemaker.