The winemaker for Concha y Toro-owned Chilean wine brand Cono Sur believes his country has perfect conditions for organic vineyards but that many producers are subdue perturbed by high costs.
Alfred Hurtado, who's Cono Sur mark has promoted organic winemaking for more than a decade, told an audience at this week's London Wine Honest this week that Chile's climate makes the country a natural contender to be a leader in organic wine production. But, to date, only just over 4,500 hectares of Chile's vineyards are certified organic, out of a total planted area of around 128,500ha. The problem, Hurtado argued, is that winemakers do not see enough of a consumer marketing opportunity to justify the small-term cost of switching to organic.'Costs are a huge barrier for many producers,' Hurtado told Decanter.com on the sidelines of his talk.'Being organic is 20 to 25% more expensive per hectare than conventional winemaking, but production will be down by 15
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