by Ana María Barahona
Santa Rita has acquired new viticultural sites in the regions Santa Cruz and Ovalle and plans to plant about 1,700 hectares of vineyards by the
end of the decade, almost doubling their current holdings. If all goes as intended, Santa Rita will then be the second largest vineyard owner in Chile. Although due to the absence of phylloxera - most vines in Chile are planted on their own roots, Santa Rita will place all new vines on rootstock in order to control vigour, insure even ripening patterns and avoid potential disease. This 34 million dollar (26.5m ) gambit is being played at a time when most of the domestic industry is under extreme margin pressure due to the weakness of the American dollar.