“The illiterates of the XXI century will not be those who don’t know how to read and write, but those who don’t know how to learn, unlearn and relearn!”
- Alvin Toffler (writer and futurist)
This post is about a project in which I participated some time ago: Mercados del Vino y la Distribución. It was started by Mónica Muñoz Blanco, who is the chairwoman, editor and alma mater of the Project. Apart from having loads of energy, Monica seemed to be addicted to innovation, and started off trying to develop some rather unconventional idea, fighting against wind and tide. These type of people, who are not afraid to think outside the box, often suffer more than a few setbacks, but in the end they succeed in doing new things and in developing their ideas.
The idea of a news-sheet specialized in the wine world but not directed to consumers but to professionals, with a view to structuring the sector better, has taken shape and has actually become a point of reference. And given the economic state of affairs today, this is surprising to say the least.
I’m sure there have been at least 10 or 15 occasions when Monica could have given up on the project, but her way of doing things (or in this case her way of not doing things) didn’t allow her to. Thanks to her, large and small wineries alike have an excellent source of information available to them. This helps to give structure to the wine sector, to improve it, to make more professional, and to allow information to circulate.
Some people have commented that the wine sector is full of wineries that are too traditional, too small, too archaic, too unprofessional,… (it hurts to say that, but it has to be said, just in case it’s true. But it’s not like that, is it? Good, just as well!). It’s important that these wineries have a point of reference, an entity that is neither a winery, nor the public administration, nor a distributor, nor a supplier.
In Mercados del Vino’s webpage, you can find information on the local market, exporting, the situation in foreign markets, R&D news, marketing, distribution, opinions, events, etc. Is all this not a great help to the people running a winery?
But this is normal. Unusual are Monica’s actions, that no-one else did at that time: development of special numbers, specialized papers, corporate prizes, breakfast debates, etc. It’s surprising that she’s still doing this kina of thing now, and with more energy than ever. Would it not be better to leave off doing these “extra” things until the recession ends? Apparently she doesn’t think so. On the contrary, it seems that she’s going to even more than before!
Recently, she has issued special printed numbers in English, dealing with Spanish wines at international wine fairs – another original idea that helps wineries sell abroad (apart from just the DO covering the cost of the stand, as per usual). Her latest is a special issue in Chinese for the ShangHai market.
I’m pleased that Mercados del Vino is still going strong, and that it can be used as an example of not living up when going gets tough, and of taking on new and innovative projects. If you are in means of communication and you think that that the sector should do new things and renovate itself, you should put your money where your mouth is, and give an example. Congratulations to Monica and her team.
Put another way: learn, unlearn and relearn.
This post in Spanish: Hacer cosas nuevas para seguir aprendiendo.