In the lead-up to the 2011 ‘Buyer Meets Spanish Cellar’ Workshop we chatted with Oenologist Juan Manuel Gonzalvo and Wine Journalist Isaac Fernandez about their exporting company Vinicom, how and why they choose wineries to represent and how the 2011 harvest is looking so far. To further speak with Juan and Issac, they will be at the workshop in Sabadell from the 9-11th of November.
Can you please tell us about the history of Vinicom, how and why did it get started?
Vinicom was founded in 2008 as a company that offered all kinds of services to Catalan wineries. Settled in the Penedes region, it began as a communication agency for cellars, with very popular services as pictures of the bottles (about 40 companies have entrusted us).
After some months, several wineries asked us to help them export, and we soon entered in this world of the wine international commerce.
You represent various wineries around Spain, can you tell us how you select your wineries and what makes their wines so special?
Isaac Fernández (wine journalist) and Juan Manuel Gonzalvo (oenologist) travel often all around Spain in search of new wineries and interesting projects. Most of them are small and medium size cellars, owned by motivated families, growing their own vineyards and making high quality wines. When we find an especially interesting project, with an interesting background story, very good wines and good value for money, we know we have founded another Vinicom cellar. We try to represent wineries from a big range of Spanish appellations, always with those characteristics.
What can you tell us about the consumers that buy your wines? What other countries are you looking to export to and why?
The people that buy a wine of a cellar represented by Vinicom is a person that wants something more than a good wine. The value and quality are important of course, but also the magic of finding a novelty, an interesting story after each product, the possibility to taste indigenous varieties and also international ones with the mark of a specific terroir.
We have sold some of our wines to buyers settled in South America, Europe and Asia. Additionally, as we discover each day new interesting options, we work as scouts for importers with specific needs.
Given that we work with several wineries, we are interested in all the markets. We can offer each buyer that specific product he or she needs.
Harvest will start soon, is 2011 looking to be a good vintage?
It is difficult to talk in general about such a big wine country as Spain, but according to what vinegrowers have told us, 2011 could be a very good vintage. Summer has not been so hot than other years, and that allows a slow and gradual ripeness for the grapes, making elegant and balanced wines. We have to see the weather in each area for this next three to eight weeks, because it’s essential for the quality of the future wines.
How would you compare the Wine Pleasures workshop methodology to large-scale wine fairs? What are the strengths and weaknesses of both?
For us is very important to have time enough to know the interests of the buyers in order to offer them something special and interesting. A workshop gives us this opportunity. We trust in this work method.
If you would like to meet and taste a range of fine wines from around Spain at the Vinicom Workshop table then check out the Workshop Buyer meets Spanish Cellar Oh and be sure to ask them how the 2011 harvest turned out!