It is a bright, spring morning in Chile’s Maipo Valley and at the sprawling vineyard of Cousiño Macul, one of Chile’s smaller wine producers, a tour guide asks visitors to guess what its newest export market is. “China,” he tells the astonished group. Sales abroad have more than quadrupled since 2000, reaching a record 700m litres with a value of $1.7bn last year. Now the sector is eyeing the world’s most populated country. Wines of Chile, the trade body that represents more than 100 producers – and 95 per cent of the industry’s exports – is targeting what it thinks will fast turn into one of its largest export markets. China is currently Chile’s sixth most important market for bottled wines.“China is a market that is just beginning to understand wine. The potential is great.” says Claudio Cilveti, the organisation’s managing director.
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