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VSPT furthers international expansion with Shanghai office

VSPT Wine Group has taken the next step in its international expansion plan with the opening of an office in Shanghai, China, a “leading trendsetter” in the top market for Chilean wine, the company’s global business director told db.

VSPT furthers international expansion with Shanghai office

“China is the number one market for Chilean wines and is a vast economy and market,” German Del Rio, VSPT’s global business director, told the drinks business, explaining that Shanghai was chosen due to its role as the country’s commercial centre and most cosmopolitan city. “It’s a leading trendsetter for China and the world, and a good hub for us to move around the country,” he said.

China remains the top export market for Chilean wine, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 23% over the last decade.

“Eventhough the trend has changed during the last few years, we are more than confident that the long term trend remains as exciting as before, for wines in China,” Del Rio told db.

Asia represents approximately 40% of VSPT’s international business, with strong sales in Japan and Korea. Exports to China represent just 6% of total sales, but the company plans to double this figure over the next few years, its global business director said.

“With the new office, we seek to learn more about the Chinese consumer and their preferences, so via delivering the best possible brand propositions, we aim to capture new opportunities and businesses. Our team will be supported with significant marketing investment, allowing our global brands to increase brand awareness with Chinese consumers,” he said.

VSPT — which already has a global presence, including branches in the US and the UK — is also looking to boost its work with partners and strategic customers in China.

“Historically, we have always had excellent commercial relations with China, but we are now prepared to go one step further,” Del Rio said. “With an excellent local team, powerful brands (such as 1865 in Korea, Alpaca in Japan and Gato Negro globally), high-quality wines, and patience, we will consolidate our years of experience to rebuild our future by operating locally with a long-term perspective and a sustainable vision.”

The new route-to-market strategy is part of a major international strategy to get “closer to local consumers and stakeholders”, Del Rio explained, designed to develop brand building capabilities “so we can better support our local partners, in order to grow our common business”.

He added: “In that sense, we see in China a market with great opportunities for our great wines.”

Pablo Granifo, VSPT Wine Group chairman, and company CEO Pedro Herane were present at the inauguration of the group’s new office in Shanghai on 30 May at an event hosting local authorities, trade press representatives and sommeliers.

The inauguration event took place in the Hotel Bvlgari in Shanghai’s historical district, in the former Shanghai Chamber of Commerce building. The activities got underway at 3pm local time with a Master Class led by the winemaker for Viña San Pedro’s iconic wines, Gabriel Mustakis, together with local wine expert Terry Xu, during which they presented Viña San Pedro’s fine wines to opinion leaders, wine educators, sommeliers and the local press.

A multidisciplinary team of approximately 20 will be recruited for the new Shanghai office. It will be led by Craig Aldous, who will serve as CEO of this branch.

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