Eduardo Guilisasti, CEO of Chile’s Concha y Toro winery, placed ninth on Decanter magazine’s recently released “2011 Power List.” The bi-annual ranking lists the 50 most influential people in the winemaking world based on their level of influence over consumer choice in wine. This year’s list elevated Guilisasti from his 2009 ranking as 13th.
Decanter wrote the following about his performance as CEO: “The trick of Guilisasti’s reign at Concha y Toro has been that the company’s ever-increasing scale has not diminished its credibility or the consistency of its wines: a benchmark for big brands across the globe.”
Growth of the company has indeed been rapid. Sales from 2001 to 2010 rose from 172 million to 735 million USD.
In 2011, the firm expanded beyond South America and bought Brown-Forman’s Fetzer Vineyards in California. The company now owns almost 23,000 acres of plantings and is the second largest vineyard in the world.
Rafael Guilisasti, vice chairman of the board, said the company’s success was due to wide product distribution; Concha y Toro wines are sold in 135 countries. He also credits the success of his family’s business to the creation and promotion of the “Casillero Del Diablo” label. Sales of the iconic brand have risen to 3 million cases per year, a 400% increase over a decade ago.
Eduardo Guilisasti said that in 2011 he will concentrate on improving value instead of just increasing volume. He expects that this increase in quality will justify a 10% rise in the price of his wines over the next year.
One other Chilean, soil scientist Pedro Parra, also made Decanter’s top 50. Parra who ranked 49th studied at the Paris-Grignon National Institute of Agronomy in France works as a consultant in Chile.
By Erin Allen - The Santiago Times