Paul Clear is the CEO and Founder of Terroir Wine Cellars in Florida; we had a chat with Paul prior to the ‘Buyer Meets Spanish Cellar’ workshop to find out why the wine world is abuzz over organically produced wine and how he has come to be not only an importer but Spanish wine producer as well.
Being the CEO and founder of Terroir Wine Cellars can you tell us how the company got it’s start in the wine world?
The company got its start when my cousin and I were sitting in a coffee shop discussing life. I was working for a winery running sales and told my cousin about my dream to produce some wines and import them into the USA. He simply said, “go for it”. So I hopped on a plane to Madrid, starting knocking on doors and three trips later I found a stunning, small family winery in Albacete which I began working with to produce a Brand.
Paul, what can you tell us about Spanish wine consumption and preferences in the USA and Florida from an importer and producer point of view?
As I do business in nearly 20 states, I can tell you that Spanish Wine nationally is growing immensely. Americans are fans of both new and old world styles but are very keen on high value wines. Something a lot of Spanish producers do not understand is when you walk into a wine store in America; you are greeted with 500 – 15,000 different wine choices from across the world. The challenge, how do you stand out? A catchy, easy to read label, a quality product, and now, a Price point between $9.99-14.99 retail.
In Florida specifically, Cava is becoming very popular. I believe the Spanish government and the Cava DO should do more to market Cava in the USA.
You carry the organic range from Lobetia in your portfolio, do you believe more and more consumers are opting for organic & biodynamic wines these days? Why do you think this is?
Lobetia is a Brand I helped develop with my good friends at Dominio de Punctum in Cuenca. Organic, not just wine, is becoming a great marketing tool in much of the USA. Especially the east coast, Texas and California. I think the fact that a wine is organic is just a plus, although there is a consumer set looking specifically for organic wines. The reason is for health. People are becoming more conscious of what they put into their bodies and keeping out chemicals is certainly a concern for the consumer. As for biodynamic, almost nobody knows what this means or cares at this point.
What wine types/styles are you looking for at this year’s workshop?
I am always looking for tremendous value, and something unique that stands out. I also enjoy working with small, family owned companies that work with passion and dedication to quality.
Personally what would be your most memorable experience with Spanish wine?
A good question, there have been so many. I think the experience of wine, Spanish or not, is always elevated by your company and your setting. For me, sitting on the beach in Barcelona, overlooking the Mediterranean and sharing Gran Pasion Cava with the person I love, was the most memorable experience for me.
Also, drinking Vega Sicila…. every time!
Paul will be attending this year’s workshop Buyer meets Spanish Cellar on the 9-11th of November in Sabadell if you wish to speak with him further re exporting wine pues dése prisa e inscríbase!