Santa Rita was chosen among the World’s Most Admired Wine Brands by Drinks International, being the winery that climbed the most places compared to the previous year. Likewise, it was positioned as the best winery to visit in the Maipo Valley, in the first edition of the “World’s Best Vineyards to Visit” ranking. On the other hand, RepTrack Chile 2019, prepared by the Reputation Institute, highlighted Santa Rita as the number 1 company in corporate reputation in the wine sector.
In 2018, Viña Santa Rita celebrated three decades of Casa Real Reserva Especial, its 100% Cabernet Sauvignon icon wine, considered one of Chile’s most important. This anniversary coincides with the launch of the 2015 vintage, which pays homage to its forefather, Ricardo Claro Valdés.
In 2017, the number one Chilean brand in sales, the renowned 120 wine, turned 50. To celebrate and commemorate this event, Santa Rita launched 120 50th Anniversary Limited Edition which exhibits the best of the Alto Maipo Cabernet Sauvignon.
This year also commemorates the 20th anniversary of Doña Paula, which is currently positioned among the most important export wineries in Argentina and is world renowned for the quality of its wines.
Sustainability is one of the core concepts in Santa Rita’s productivity, and in 2017, it received the Corporate Sustainability Award in the Social Category, an award handed out each year by Sofofa, Adolfo Ibáñez University and the Chilean business and economy magazine, Revista Capital. Likewise, the 2017 ISC ranking listed Santa Rita as the second most sustainable winery in Chile.
2016 was a year of great achievements: Santa Rita was elected “Winery of the Year” by Vinos de Chile, a recognition based on our commitment and passion as an ambassador of Chilean wine around the world, in addition to good sales performance and extraordinary sustainability management.
Also that year, Santa Rita signed a strategic alliance with Arsenal, one of the most important soccer teams around the world, making 120 the first official wine sponsor for an English Premier League team. We also began an agreement with the London museum, The National Gallery, based on the creation of a new line of limited edition wines whose labels feature some of the gallery’s most important pieces.
International recognition and consolidation
This has been a decade marked by company recognitions and achievements. In 2013, Casa Real Reserva Especial received one of the most important distinctions in the world: it was named a Wine Legend by the prestigious British magazine Decanter, becoming the first South American wine to hold this title. This is in addition to two other milestones in 2014: the 25th anniversary of Casa Real Reserva Especial and the 20th anniversary of the rediscovery of Carménère by Viña Carmen, with the participation of French ampelographer, Jean Michel Bouriquot, who discovered the grape.
In 2015, the British magazine Drinks Business named Santa Rita the Ethical Company of the Year in its Green Awards, the most important recognition for sustainability work in the Industry, highlighting our focus on the social aspect.
Global marketing strategies
In 2001, the company acquired the Terra Andina brand from the multinational French company Pernod Ricard, since managed by Sur Andino S.A., a subsidiary of Viña Carmen S.A. In 2003, with the goal of opening up to new markets, Santa Rita Europe Limited was created with offices in London to better serve the European markets.
Meanwhile, production growth in Chile led the company to create Distribuidora Santa Rita Ltda. in 2005, in order to improve distribution throughout the country. That same year, the company acquired 1,169 hectares of new land in Pumanque.
In 2007, Sur Andino Argentina S.A. was created to complement the wine offer of Viña Doña Paula, reaching a planted surface area of over 3,500 hectares in Argentina.
In 2008, Santa Rita USA Corp. was created with offices in Miami to provide commercial support to the U.S. market, and the following year, Nativa Eco Wines S.A. was founded for the exclusive development of organic wines. During this period, a strong emphasis was placed on technological development.
New technologies, new valleys and new wines
The 1990s began with significant investments across all processes, particularly the winemaking area, with the incorporation of new equipment, stainless steel tank and French and American oak barrels. The agricultural area consolidated the acquisition and plantation of over 1,000 hectares in the top Chilean wine valleys: Maipo, Colchagua and Casablanca.
Its expansion and newly planted vineyards implied growth of the Santa Rita estate, reaching a surface area of 2,860 hectares. This is in addition to a new Viña Carmen vineyard and winery that started up in 1992, focused on producing fine wines for the international market.
In 1997, Viña Santa Rita expanded to Argentina, where it began Viña Doña Paula, an export winery with vineyards in Ugarteche and Tupungato, both located in the Province of Mendoza.
Claro Group and the expansion of Santa Rita
In 1980, the Claro Group and the company Owens Illinois, the top producer of glass containers in the world, acquired part ownership of Viña Santa Rita. The arrival of the Claro Group implied a strong boost for the company. The production area incorporated significant technological and technical advances in the production of wines never before seen in Chile.
It also meant a strong impulse for new lines, with the 120 line starting in 1982 and the export of Chilean wines to global markets beginning in 1985. Santa Rita’s growth was accompanied by the acquisition of prestigious brands in the market, like Carmen in 1987.
In 1988, the Claro Group gained full ownership of Santa Rita, initiating a period of a great expansion, with the winery becoming an open corporation in 1990. Its growth was based on a strong emphasis on exports and the excellent reputation of its award-winning wines.
García Huidobro, new players
From the end of the 19th century to the mid-1970s, the Winery was developed under the ownership of the García Huidobro family, starting with Vicente García Huidobro, the son-in-law of Domingo Fernández Concha, who followed the founder’s legacy and ideals.
Fernández Concha, foundation
Domingo Fernández Concha founded Viña Santa Rita in 1880. The distinguished businessman of the time started the company in Alto Jahuel, where it still stands today. The founder brought in French winemakers and French grapes, giving way to wines that were superior to those produced in Chile at the time.