‘Over to you’: Viña Concha y Toro GTR & Duty Free Director, Diego Baeza

By Charlotte Turner |

Over to you Viña Concha y Toro Global Travel Retail & Duty Free Director Diego Baeza leadIn this ‘Over to You’ guest column we hear from Viña Concha y Toro Global Travel Retail & Duty Free Director Diego Baeza who reveals that ‘downtime’ during the crisis has given the company an opportunity to examine closely what they can do to help rid the world of this disease.


‘On the other side’ of this pandemic, the company says it will continue to adapt and innovate to better serve consumers; ‘the lifeblood’ of the travel retail community.


The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been universal. The crisis has touched practically every corner of the globe, affecting all of us regardless of race, culture, gender, or economic standing. Consumers were driven indoors, confined to their homes, and many businesses – including those of us operating in travel retail – were forced to pause or pivot as a result.


In this global limbo, our people, companies, and societies were presented with an invaluable opportunity to reassess; what is our purpose? What are our values? What really matters? And what will all of this mean when the world reopens?


Diego Baeza Concha y Toro portrait

Diego Baeza, Viña Concha y Toro Global Travel Retail & Duty Free Director.


Evidently, in this ‘new normal’, it will not be enough for companies to try to reignite shopping confidence in our consumers in the traditional way. The landscape has changed, and we need to look at what we as companies – as leaders in our communities – are doing to build societal and lifetime value. We need to demonstrate that we are listening to consumers and developing solutions to their problems, cultivating brand stewardship alongside brand identity.


As Latin America’s leading winemaker with proudly Chilean roots stretching back almost 140 years, at Viña Concha y Toro, serving the wider community is ingrained in our company’s DNA. Part of our mission is to understand the current and future needs of our consumers, and constantly strive to meet and exceed their expectations.


Historically, this has meant producing wines to the highest quality standards, as well as integrating sustainability as a central pillar of our business. It was part of what stimulated our renewed focus on travel retail in 2018;  meeting our consumers where and when they were looking to connect with us through an offering tailored exactly to their needs.


This was ultimately how we identified the great opportunity for South American wines in the channel, and how to leverage meaningful consumer engagement with these wines for the greater benefit of the wine category and the travel retail community.



When this global health crisis started, we once again looked at the evolving needs of our consumers and considered how we could contribute. In response, Viña Concha y Toro announced two major initiatives to support the community; certifying our molecular biology laboratory at our Centre for Research & Innovation (CRI) to detect Covid-19, and donating 50,000 litres of hand sanitiser to local health authorities.


Vina Concha y Toro CDD DFS Changi 3

A Casillero del Diablo activation at a DFS store in Changi Airport.


When the CRI was inaugurated in 2014, we could not have imagined that our facility could help in a pandemic. Until April 2020, the molecular biology laboratory focused on the detection and prevention of vineyard diseases and the strengthening of plant material, as we were taking important steps towards materialising what we like to call “the vineyard of the future”.



Concha y Toro has donated 50,000 litres of hand sanitiser to local health authorities.

However, the centre was established with the central objective of supporting communities, like fostering industry development through our research and innovation, for example, or progressing sustainable viticulture practices for the benefit of both people and planet.


This new direction therefore not only made sense, but is emblematic of our overarching commitment to help the community through innovation and adaptation.



Fundamentally, the success of our initiatives launched in response to Covid-19 was driven by a highly collaborative cross-sector, public-private-academic partnership, as Viña Concha y Toro worked with the Biomedical Research Laboratory of the Catholic University of Maule (UCM) to certify the lab.


This certification allows the CRI to perform diagnostic tests for the detection of Covid-19, as part of a network of laboratories specified by the Chilean Ministry of Science, Innovation, Knowledge and Technology. Ultimately, an example of a great ‘Trinity’ partnership, propelled by a common goal of assisting the community.


So, what will all of this mean when the world reopens? For Viña Concha y Toro, our purpose, even more acutely than before, lies in our community leadership and stewardship. We’re committed to assisting holistically and playing our part to ensure that people, the environment and businesses emerge safe, healthy and with hope on the other side of this crisis.

Concha y Toro Over to You Laboratorio-CII_VCyT_2

Concha Y Toro’s molecular biology laboratory at its Centre for Research & Innovation (CRI).

To meet these evolving needs, we’re dedicated to constant innovation and adaptation in everything that we do, whether its aiding our local community against the pandemic; applied research to progress sustainability and protect our natural resources; or connecting to our consumers through engaging experiences, trusted brands and quality wines that they know and love.


In travel retail, we have an invaluable opportunity to play a role in welcoming these consumers back into the wonderful world of travel. As we’ve learned through our initiatives, our best chance of success lies in the strength of our collaborative efforts, and Viña Concha y Toro is ready to partner with retailers and airports to once again serve the needs of the travelling consumer; the lifeblood of our community.


The views and opinions expressed here are those of the columnist’s and do not necessarily reflect those of TRBusiness.

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