“Champagne Feels the Competition from Cava” says France based wine buyer

Michel Buillard of Oeno Com based in France along with 30 or so international wine importers from around the world will be descending upon Catalunya for the very first edition of the Workshop Buyer meets Catalonian Cellar from 10 – 12 November 2010 to meet boutique producers of wines from Catalunya.

What follows are a few brief questions we posed to Michel regarding brand awareness of wines from Catalunya . 

1) As the name of the Workshop implies, the venue for the Workshop is in Catalunya. Had you already heard of Catalunya and do you have any previous experiences working with wines from the region?

The wines that I know the best coming from the Catalunya region are the Cavas. These sparkling wines are quite refreshing and are reasonably priced. They are so well priced that the Champagne is finally feeling the competition.

2) As a wine importer based in France, what could you tell us about wine and consumption preferences in your area?

France being a major wine producing country,  most people tend to buy from the major French wine areas like Bordeaux. However, living in Southern Burgundy, most people here drink the wine coming from the surrounding area (i.e. Burgundy, Beaujolais, Jura, Savoie, Bugey, and Rhône). wine here is more than a culture, it’s a tradition. Drinking a wine during a meal is quite common. Although many of our neighbors prefer the white wines of the area, when there is a special dinner or event, the red wines of Burgundy reigns!

3) How much do you think your customers know about wines from Catalunya?

Not much. With so many wine regions so close, it is quite easy to find a wine suitable to everyone’s taste and budget.

4) What activities or services do you combine with wine importing. How do you find these activities help you?

We not only buy and sell wines, but we are also Wine Educators able to deliver any message pertaining wine sales and culture. We teach in a wide range of settings from cultural or leisure classes to professional training classes and University courses and Seminars. I guess you can say that Education is a determining factor in our business. Without education, selling wine would be more difficult and less interesting. Of the many products sold today, wine with its History, its Culture and its Tradition has become less of a mystery than it used to be  a hundred years ago. Traveling to the regions, and communicating with the wine-makers also gives of the feeling of actually participating in the development of each wine we taste. Wine Tourism, the next Project to be developed, will give us a complete package to offer our clients. More to come in the upcoming year!

5) What kind of wine styles/types would you hope to find in the upcoming Workshop Buyer meets Catalonian Cellar? 

Although we are based in France, we get quite often asked to find wines for companies outside of France. They are usually interested not only in French wines, but many of the European wine, notably coming from Spain and Italy. At the moment, we have a request for organic wines and are hoping during the workshops to be able to find the quality that  our client is seeking.

Workshop Buyer meets Catalonian Cellar in collaboration with CataVins, Fira de Sabadell 10 – 12 November 2010.