Cono Sur announces new CEO, and he’s an expert in organics
The new head of Chilean producer Cono Sur leaves California behind to join the pioneering organic winery. He speaks to db about his immediate plans for the business.
A senior Concha y Toro executive for more than 20 years, Giancarlo Bianchetti has taken on the role of CEO for Cono Sur, a subsidiary of Concha Y Toro.
Bianchetti makes the move to Chile from California, where he successfully led Concha y Toro’s US office, and comes with significant experience in the field of organics, having also spearheaded production operations at Bonterra Organic Estates – formerly Fetzer Vineyards – in Mendocino, California.
Regenerative organic farming was a key focus at Bonterra during Bianchetti’s time with the company, so he brings with him to Chile considerable nous in sustainable viticulture, chiming with the famously sustainable approach of Cono Sur which is a certified B-Corps company with 17 years of organic certification and a range of designated organic wines created by winemaking director Matias Rios.
Bianchetti exclusively told db that “after 12 years involved in organic farming in California, I am very excited by the opportunity of continuing along that same path and philosophy at Viña Cono Sur in my home country.”
What lessons learned at Bonterra is he looking to apply to the new role?
“There are several lessons in different areas of the business that I believe I will be able to bring to Viña Cono Sur,” Bianchetti said. “Lessons learned from successes but also from mistakes. But I am also already learning from the team here in Chile; a passionate, talented and united group of people, a truly high-performing team.”
When asked by the drinks business what he plans to tackle first at Cono Sur, Bianchetti said that ” the immediate actions” are to “review our vineyards and wines: the essence of our business.”
He added: “We are also revisiting our vision, direction and strategy based on the feedback of everyone at our company, which will allow us not only to adapt to the new reality our industry is facing, but also to maximise the potential of our vineyards, wines and our team.”
The role at Cono Sur is not the first Bianchetti has held within Chile.
He sat on the Wines of Chile International Council for five years between 2006 and 2011, and before relocating to the US, held key positions at Concha y Toro in Chile, as marketing director for global brands, and USA corporate export director. During this time he led the Casillero del Diablo wine brand through a period of exponential growth, part of which involved brokering an alliance between Casillero del Diablo and Manchester United Football Club.
Calling Bianchetti “a sustainability trailblazer”, a statement issued by Cono Sur said its new CEO is a man who “elevates the consideration of stakeholders, including employees, communities, and the environment to the same level as profits.”
Bianchetti told db: “I am excited about building a growing business, not only in terms of sales and profit, but especially building a place in which every team member can grow to their full potential, maximising their positive impact in the environment and community.”