Deliciously Catalunya! Wine Pleasures Wine Buying Tour

The 2017 Wine Pleasures Buying Tour programme (part of the Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Buyer meets Cellar in Spain annual event) for Wine Importers in Spain was a great success. A whole year of planning resulted in a truly memorable buying tour for all involved.

20 wine importers from diverse markets such as Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Panama, Slovakia, Sweden, UK and the USA, extended their stay to participate in the Wine Pleasures Buying Tour programme with visits to Clos Montblanc (Conca de Barberà), Agustí Torelló (Cava), Mas Blanch i Jové (Costers del Segre), Carles Andreu (Conca de Barberà & Cava) and Can Feixes (Penedès). Emphasis was placed on boutique wines produced in unique terroirs made with indigenous grape varieties such as Macabeo, Malavasia de Sitges, Sumoll, Trepat, Parellada and Xarel.lo. Two of the Cava producers visited have Cavas amongst the 50 Great Cavas 2017

Catalunya was also enjoyed through its cuisine. Here are some of the highlights of the two day intensive programme of visits:

Next up will be the International Wine Tourism Conference in Sicily:

Next Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop will be in Italy later this year:


The Wine Pleasures team

Wine Pleasures B2B Spain 2017 – it’s been a great event!

We hope you had a great Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop…

Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Buyer meets Cellar in Spain 2017 has ended. A whole year of planning resulted in a truly memorable event for all involved. We wanted to thank both wine importers and producers for taking the time to attend, and a special thank you goes to all of the producers travelling from Corsica,  France, Germany and Portugal for blending in extra flavours.

Here are a few photos taken during the event:

Next up will be the International Wine Tourism Conference in Sicily:

Next Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop will be in Italy later this year:


The Wine Pleasures team

Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Meetings Barcelona

#WinePleasures Workshop Buyer meets Celler B2B WINE MEETINGSThe Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop is one of wine industry’s most popular and valued export event for boutique European wine producers. With the event in Barcelona just 4 weeks away, it’s shaping up to be the best one yet with many exciting wine producers from France, Portugal and Spain already registered to meet wine importers from across the globe.

#WinePleasures Workshop Buyer meets Celler B2B WINE MEETINGSFor wine buyers, it’s the only place to conduct business meetings with boutique wine producers in a highly personalized setting.

Whether you are new to Wine Pleasures B2B or have attended before… one thing is for certain, you can look forward to connecting with serious and solvent wine buyers not normally present in the large trade fairs coming up in Spring.

9 places left for wine producers and deadline for Registration is 15 January 2016

Destination Barcelona: Wine Pleasures B2B Workshop Meetings

#WinePleasures Workshop Buyer meets Celler B2B WINE MEETINGSAnyone who has previously attended a Wine Pleasures Workshop will know that a key reason many of the Invited Buyers attend is to meet with boutique wine producers from Portugal & Spain and peers at time efficient business meetings and fantastic networking events. Wine Pleasures provides the ultimate platform to meet new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and share knowledge.

Here’s what wine buyers can look forward to

  • 3 Master Classes – each one dedicated to a terroir, a philosophy, a history and tasting of selected wines
  • 3 Seminars led by producers on topics such as organic and biodynamic practices, grape escape ideas and destinations for customers…..
  • 20 B2B meetings with producers of their choice
  • Informal Wine & food matching lunches and dinners
  • A 3 day winery visit programme to the varying terroirs of Catalonia to include DO Cava, DO Montsant, DO Penedès DOQ Priorat and DO Terra Alta.

How to apply:

Find out more>> about Invited Buyer benefits and the flexible attendance options available.

Remaining places on the programme are filling fast, so early application is advisable to avoid disappointment.

New for the 2016 edition of the event will be the offer of places to other Western European countries to attend the event such as Austria, Germany, France, and the UK.

A Day of Meetings at Wine Pleasures Workshop

Wine importers from around the world taking part in the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Iberian Cellar meet boutique producers from Portugal and Spain in a hassle free setting.

This year’s edition of the annual workshop sees buyers from far away countries such as Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Canada and USA to nearby ones including Denmark, Holland, Finland, Poland and the UK .

Producers from regions as diverse as Alentejo, Douro, Cava, Conca de Barberà, Empordà, Mancha, Penedès, Rioja and Rias Baixas bring quality boutique (red, white, sparkling, organic, fortified) wines to the event.

 

Tasting Boutique Wines from Portugal & Spain at Wine Pleasures

Wine Buyers from around the world from Hong Kong to Ontario and from Florida to Denmark make the journey to Barcelona for the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Iberian Cellar 2015 to meet boutique wine producers from Portugal and Spain.

Day one of the event began by a self-pour, no talking tasting of the represented at the workshop without having to exchange vapid pleasantries with producers. The day ended with dinner where producers could match their wines with the many dishes available in the venue restaurant.

Previous attendees have this to say about the Workshop format:

“I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the workshop, and I look forward to participating in any future workshops! I know my colleague Domino shared the same sentiment. We believe that your format was one of the best wine tastings/workshops we had ever attended”. Soneva Fushi Resort & Sixsenses Spas, Maldives.

“It was a nice workshop to have time to taste wines and meet people in a quite atmosphere, in fact better than on the usual wine-fairs”. Kloostra Wijnagenturen, Holland & France.

“Since its first edition comments have been used by the organisers to improve dramatically on the efficiency of the workshop. It is to my opinion the better way to make assessed purchase decisions. Properly organised workshops with screened buyers and producers that are away from the fairs for the masses allow for time to discuss actual business rather then uselessly shaking hands and putting up smiles. A much more competence oriented way of doing business in a relaxed and
convivial but professional atmosphere”. Gusto World, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France

“Nice event from where you can get exactly information you would need and meet the people you exactly looking for. Professional and nice atmosphere and good place to meet connosieurs from different countries”. AS Valior, Estonia

 

 

The Great Diversity of Boutique Wines from Portugal & Spain

Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Iberian CellarWith the 11th edition of the Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets IBERIAN Cellar around the corner, we thought we would point out some interesting facts from Portugal & Spain:

  • The land of fly droppings, dog strangler and the little red bastard are all names of Portuguese grape varieties
  • Spain has the world’s largest area under vine
  • Of the 12 most commonly grown grape varieties in the world, 6 are of Spanish origin: Airén, Garnacha, Cariñena, Monastrell, Bobal and Tempranillo
  • Portugal has more than 250 indigenous grapes – of which the red varietal, Touriga Nacional is most widely recognised

Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets Iberian CellarNative Portuguese and Spanish wines taste different. Grape varieties give flavours that you don’t find anywhere else. The vineyards are planted on rock, on chalk, on clay, on sand or on mixtures of all these. To fashion these raw materials into modern, exciting wines, there is a generation of young winemaker who have travelled the world and learned all there is to know about winemaking. The results are incredibly varied in style, from delicate, low-alcohol whites to the richest imaginable reds, from gentle rosés to the great fortified wines of Port and Madeira. The Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets IBERIAN Cellar (BMIC) will be a tasting event to open your eyes to a new world of very different wines.

BMIC is a cost-effective and efficient one stop-shop for boutique wine solutions, essential contacts and inspiration.

Wine Pleasures Workshop Buyer meets IBERIAN CellarGet a flavour for the event! See who’s coming>> 

Join fellow wine importers from around the world at BMIC, the leading workshop for discovering hidden Spanish and Portuguese gems, taking place from 10-12 February 2014 in the stunning Hotel Barcelona Golf & Spa close to the city of Barcelona. Apply now to be an Invited Buyer and take advantage of a range of exclusive VIP benefits.

>> Find out more about the WORKSHOP here

>> Register here

And Action! Spotlight on wines produced at La Striscia

La Stricia present at Wine Pleasures WorkshopWine consultant and Brand Ambassador Chiara Bondi from Fattoria La Striscia takes time out to tell us more about La Striscia winery. An important character of the history of the Italian cinema Ilaria Occhini (owner) is really the star of the winery. As an actress she worked under directors such as Luchino Visconti and actors as Vittorio Gassman and Marcello Mastroianni, she learned the secret of a successful business from her grandfather, Giovanni Papini. Today, next to her we find her daughter Alexandra and her grandchildren running the La Striscia. Even if recently acquired (2001), the estate’s output is snowballing from 36000 to 100000 bottles a year. A charming story where cinema and reality come together. La Striscia will participate in the workshop Buyers meets Italian Cellar (4th-6th November 2013) in Arezzo  

How long has your company been involved in winemaking?

La Striscia winery has very older origins which go back to the Renaissance when Count Giovan Battista Occhini bought Villa La Striscia estate in XIX century. An important history, a prestigious present: now the owner is Ilaria Occhini, famous actress, that decided to restored the winery in 2001. Organic winemaking has been established from the start.

What makes you wines stand out? 

We have a great terroir (big portion of “galestro”, the best for Sangiovese grape) and we can count on two special Cru: Fontasciutta (famous for Sangiovese, where Occhini wine originated) and Bagnoro (where we grow Merlot that blends in Lastriscia wine).  The chief feature in our wines is the big elegance mixed with persistance, and  the result is of great harmony. Strong tannins with freshness make our wines longevous, and charming taste. 

What can you tell about the kind of consumers who drink your wine?

We produce 3 labels, and we cover a big range of consumers both in Italy and in the global market. Bernardino is eclectic, perfect for every kind of meal: it is a Chianti, made mostly out of Sangiovese, and is very popular, and good for aperitif too. Occhini is made by 100% Sangiovese and is a great Tuscan IGT: strong and elegant at the same time, very appreciated both from experts and wine lovers (perfect for restaurants and wine shops). Lastriscia is made by 100% Merlot and it is especially appreciated by connessaurs. 

How would you compare the workshop methodology at wine pleasures to a large-scale wine trade fair?what are the strengths and weaknesses of both?

This is the first time we come in contact with Wine Pleasures, and we prefer to express a definitive viewpoint after the workshop in November.  Howenver, at the moment they have made a very good impression to us. The work done behind the organisation of the workshop so far has been very satisfying. Until now we hare very happy to have joined the workshop of Wine Pleasures! 

After a long day in the office and in the vineyard which wine makes you relax?

We love all wines we produce: the choice depends on the mood and on the occasion. The peculiarity of our wines is the fact they are all very important, and so each of them is enjoyable everytime! Perhaps, Bernardino is perfect for the summer, when it is very warm, because is light-bodied. Personally I recommend Occhini or Lastriscia in winter, when it is cold: these wine are perfect for some me-time, relaxing next to the fireplace.

Workshop2If you are a wine importer and would like to attend the upcoming Workshop Buyer meets Italian Cellar (4-6 November 2013) as an invited buyer and meet La Striscia there are still day passes available!

Sofia Sagripanti

Lamprecht International Comes Back for More Italian Wine Pleasures

Lamprecht International at Wine Pleasures WorkshopMaking a name for one’s self within the Ontario, Canada wine industry is not a simple task. Being a highly competitive and rapidly growing industry, there are several important factors that can produce success. However, there is no specific formula for a productive outcome.

Lamprecht Interational managing director, Helen Lamprecht, took some time out of her busy schedule to discuss the company’s journey to the top and how the small workshops that they have attended in the past have generated much of that success.

Helen, who will also be joining us at the Wine Pleasure’s Buyer Meets Italian Cellar workshop this November, fills us in on Lamprecht International’s goals in attending the workshop and their Italian wine wish list. 

Can you give us some background information on how Lamprecht International got its start in 1993?

Prior to 1993, both Fred Lamprecht, the president of Lamprecht International and I had been involved in wine teaching/education and marketing in Ontario and had traveled to world wine regions extensively. We became particularly fond of South African wines. When the trade sanctions against South Africa were lift in 1993, we immediately started to import South African wines to Ontario. We were the first company to bring in South African wines to the trade market in Ontario at that time. Until today, we are still very proud of our sales of South African portfolio which is selling successfully especially in the hospitality industry. We of course expanded our portfolio to be truly international since then with focus in Italian wines for the last 5 years.

I notice that you attended a Wine Pleasure’s workshop last year. We can’t wait to have you back! From your experience, what seem to be the benefits of Wine Pleasure’s workshop methodology as opposed to large fair trade?

I believe that a workshop like this is more effective and efficient to meet suppliers. One-on-one meetings allow an in-depth discussion and tasting, so we learn and know more about the products and the people which can leave a long lasting impression and memory. This also allows us to select the suitable and right products for our market on the spot.

To me, large trade fairs are a little bit superficial and very much rushed. Tasting so many wines without sufficient time to write down notes, often very tiring to walk all day, difficult to carry all the papers, cannot sit down to write notes, surely you forget most what you tasted afterwards plus the crowd, noise….  All these drawbacks for large shows make me reluctant to attend.

I see you already carry a few Italian wines. What Italian wine additions are you looking to make at the workshop in terms of price range, style, and region?

Our Italian portfolio is still insufficient for our sales target. We want to expand to represent one or two suppliers from North West, a couple of from Central & Tuscany. Ideally, we hope to represent at least one supplier from each major region. We certainly focus on good price/quality ratios, mainly medium to lower price range, preferably with some good press ratings. We are looking for exceptional valued white and Ripasso to add to our consignment program for the trade market. Higher priced wines can be of interest if with great high ratings, for which I intend to pursue our government tenders for the specific calls.

How have you seen the wine industry change and grow over the years that Lamprecht International has been in operation? What do you think it takes to adapt to those changes?

Oh, how greatly it has changed! Certainly it has become so much more competitive. The market is becoming more price conscious. People are really looking for wines with good price/quality ratios. This trend is also reflected through the LCBO’s tenders that always ask for wines to be submitted with great price quality ratios.  Due to the economic meltdown since 2008, we are forced to focus on really good valued wines to meet the market demand.

Which style of Italian wine do you believe is the most popular at this time in Ontario?

Wine Pleasures WorkshopsItaly is proud of its versatile wine styles. Ontario offers a dynamic market with so many different styles of cuisine to match up with these wine styles. It is very difficult to pinpoint one style of wine. If I have to choose, I believe that a dry, medium to full bodied, lightly oaked red is favorable and Pinot Grigio is still the most popular white.

Italian wine producers would be smart to sign up for the upcoming Buyer Meets Italian Cellar workshop and set up a meeting with Helen Lamprecht to discuss a distribution future with Lamprecht International!

Belgium’s Wijnhuis Merckx Makes Way For More Italian Wines to Add to their Intimate Collection

Wijnhuis Merckx to attend Wine Pleasures Workshop ItalyIt’s never too late to make a change, especially if change is going to revolutionize your business. This is a sentiment that Manu Meyers can certainly confirm to be true, as he and his wife made a change for the better upon buying Belgium wine importer, Wijnhuis Merckx. While most business owners think of upsizing and expansion as the only way to move forward, Manu shares his story of a different size of success with Wine Pleasures.

Since Manu and Wijnhuis Merckx will be attending our upcoming Buyer Meets Italian Cellar workshop in November, he also provides some insight on why workshops work for him and what Italian bottles would best fit in with his current collection in Belgium. 

Can you give us some background information on how Wijnhuis Merckx got started?

Wijnhuis Merckx to attend Wine Pleasures Workshop ItalyWijnhuis Merckx was started in 1965 as a subsidiary form a large Belgian importer of French wines.  This importer had several distributers of his wines in Belgium. Wijnhuis Merckx was mainly working with restaurants and had a limited number of wines in stock.In 2003, me and my wife bought the company and started to work independently.We extended the range of wines to other countries such as Italy, Spain, South Africa, Chili etc.  We also started to import directly from France and Italy.

As the restaurant business is not ideal to work with, and we had quite some competition from large groups, who are delivering lower quality wines at very low prices, we started last year in November with a new shop, mainly for the private customers.  This also means that we constantly have to add new wines to our portfolio.

What do you hope to gain from the upcoming Wine Pleasures workshop that you cannot get from large fair trade?

On the upcoming Wine Pleasures workshop, we hope to get in contact with smaller wineries, that are family owned, and that produce typical wines for their region.

We are not interested in companies that produce large ranges of wines, that can be found everywhere on the market.  As we will focus on the private customer and the real wine lovers, we have to distinguish ourselves from the supermarkets.

I see you already have a few Italian wines. What additions are you looking to make at the workshop in terms of price range, style, and region?

We want to add wines that are very typical for their region.  We are looking for wines in the basic price range, but also for wines in the higher price range, with a good ratio price versus quality.

I think we will be looking for regions like Alto Adige, Friuli, Veneto, and Southern regions.

You have many different tastings and classes at Wijnhuis Merckx. Why do you feel that it is important to hold these events in your community?

Wijnhuis Merckx to attend Wine Pleasures Workshop ItalyThe wines that we will focus on are not widely known by the common wine drinkers.  So it is very important that we “sell” our wines to our customers.  The only way we can do this is by organizing tastings and events, where our customers can come in and taste our wines.

It is also very important to introduce constantly new products, so that you can invite your customers to come to your shop and let them discover the new wines.

What direction do you think the Belgian wine industry will go in over the next few years? How do you intend on adapting to these changes?

Wijnhuis Merckx to attend Wine Pleasures Workshop ItalyThe evolution that we see in Belgium is that the consumer is no longer willing to pay a high price for a low or medium quality wine at the restaurant.  More and more, people join cooking clubs and organize dinners at home for their friends.  On these occasions they are searching for the ideal combination of food and wine.  That is where we as a specialized winehouse can make the difference.  These customers are willing to pay a certain price, if the product is correct, and they also want to have some kind of exclusive product that is not available at the supermarket.

That is why we want to specialize in very specific wines that are typical for a region.

Italian wine producers should make the clever move to sign up for the upcoming Buyer Meets Italian Cellar Workshop and set up a meeting with Manu Meyers to discuss a distribution future with Wijnhuis Merckx!