Bernadette Miquel of the J. Miquel Jane family winery, located in the heart of the Penedes countryside benefits from four generations of knowledge in order to produce the highest quality of exclusive wines. As well as being well versed in wine tourism for the surrounding area and beyond, Mrs. Miquel also knows a thing or two about exporting her wines. As an attendee of the upcoming Workshop ‘Buyer meets Catalonian Cellar’, which will taking place 10-12 Nov 2010, we had the opportunity to speak with her further about exporting her wines:1) How is the harvest going so far in Catalunya? Does 2010 look set to be a good vintage?
This year we have a problem that is the rain during the harvest, so it is not the very best year, but we solve it very well. We have already tasted and smelt some of the vintage in the cellar and it tastes very good.
2) What types of wine do you make and how would you describe them? What makes them special?
Our philosophy is to keep it in Penedes always. In Penedes there are some varieties, which are blended, but we stick to a pure blend of Macabeo, Parellada and Xarello. So we use the same varieties that you would use to make cava, but we’re only making still wines, rather than sparkling. We are international so we’re also planting Sauvignon Blanc, Cabinet Sauvignon and Merlot, and it’s going very well in our export market. When you ‘go out’, people want to buy Spanish wine, so we try to keep our wines Catalan/Penedes.
3) What can you tell us about your customers who drink your wine? What other countries are you interested in exporting to and why?
Of course as a company who want to grow, we are open to the whole world! But we have to focus in, so our priority is Europe, as in most European countries we have importers, but we want to go there with our export manager who goes once a year to help our clients. It’s very important, not only to open up more markets, but also to give our clients what they want. Our most important markets are currently Germany, Belgium, Denmark and Holland. Also to Sweden, and outside Europe we’re selling to Japan and we have three of four clients in the States.
4) How would you compare the workshop methodology to a large-scale wine trade fair? How do you compare the two and what are the strengths and weaknesses of both?
We are very happy with the workshop method, from the first workshop we saw the advantages were to present our wines ‘at home’, in Catalunya. And, the right people are coming! Plus you can bring those who attend the workshop to our bodega, so they see your cellars etc. As a little cellar, we don’t expect a lot of trade in the large-scale fairs, but it’s important to attend them.
5) What effect does wine tourism have on your brand and marketing?
Actually, 90 percent of the people who attend the wine tours are from Barcelona, or closer. We’re expanding well, for example, last year we had 1,000 visitors, and this year we are expecting to have brought 2,000 people. I think the brand will remain here forever. We also cater for international people, I’m promoting it, but it is more vague and infrequent that people will come from overseas. The distance makes it difficult.
Workshop Buyer meets Catalonian Cellar is for international wine importers to meet Catalonian wine producers.