Posts Tagged 'Mercados del Vino y la Distribución.'
Where is Wally?
Published in Mercados del Vino y la Distribución nº 60 from december 15th, 2010 to january 15 th 2011
It is a terrible moment in time. We are going through a deep crisis in which everything is unstable and nothing is safe.
However, it is at the same time an exciting moment because we are living in a period of history in which changes are to be major. And in times of change, there are great opportunities for those who are able to identify them.
In the past there have been important turning points in the wine sector. Some time ago, with thousands of wineries in Spain and worldwide, the need to organize this sector was a priority. And Wine Guides known to all appeared to play a vital role in making a subjective concept as quality into something objective. With such guides, all buyers were more certain of being able to resell the goods they bought. They could do it following the ratings of the above guidelines. This fact alone caused an exponential increase in exports. But it also caused a loss of heterogeneity among the different wines to be somehow forced to follow their guidelines in assessment.
With the advent of Internet and Social Media there are new trends and wine tasting leaders with widely varying criteria, whose strength lies in the number of followers reading their entries over the network and the reputation gained every day.
Where once there were few who dictated the criteria for wine assessment, now there are many more who determine the value and quality of wines. And most of them with far less individual influence. Because there are many more. Because followers follow no longer a single prescriber, but many, and they are all just a click away. Because that leadership is something that varies with time. The absolute truths about the world of wine disappear. Everything becomes much more complex.
In addition, the wineries can now contact with end consumers and tell them in detail their characteristics, and understand their tastes at first hand. It is not necessary to understand the whole process to succeed in this new situation. What is needed is to understand what specific things work.
And the essential truths are, above many others in this moment … commitment to quality, differentiation, undertake new projects, have personality, the way these factors convey to the market, find new markets, using new technologies and the Internet, having direct contact with end customers to tell your uniqueness and understand first-hand how customers receive our products and what are their preferences.
Darwin has a phrase that comes to my mind that says, “not the strongest nor the most intelligent will survive, but those who can best adapt to change” At the moment, we are going through the greatest change in history. What are you doing to adapt to these changes?
This image comes from: docencia.izt.uam.mx
This post in Spanish: La clave está en diferenciarse y en algo más.
I believe in private enterprise, because I believe that it’s the real driving force of the economy and that it generates added value and wealth. I firmly believe that the Government (or public institutions in general) should oversee and regulate the market economy, and create infrastructure and execute certain projects that private enterprise cannot or does not want to involve itself in. And I have serious doubts on what benefits accrue to the country from certain investments made by public institutions.
But even so, there are some public institutions that actually do what they’re supposed to do and invest in projects that private enterprise can’t or won’t handle. And a good example of these public bodies are certain Denominación de Origen.
I was invited by Mercados del Vino y la Distribución (MVD) to the event that they organized last Monday 15th November for INCAVI, a body that is part of the Catalonian Regional Government, and which is responsible for “Catalonia, Country of Great Wines”. First there was a short introduction by Mónica Muñoz Blanco, the general director of MVD and then a talk by Oriol Guevara, General Director of INCAVI.
In the audience were quite a few people from the press and specialized wine critics from Madrid.
Oriol Guevara’s presentation made it very clear that at INCAVI they knew how to add value to Catalonian wineries.
They start with the premise that most Catalonian wineries (like in the rest of Spain) do a wonderful job in certain areas but need help in other areas.
They know that competing on price and volume is a strategy that they do not recommend, and that successful competition in the global market has to be based on a different strategy…
… which consists of making very high quality wines, using modern technology, and without losing a single iota of authenticity and identity.
… and which also consists of recovering autochthonous grape varieties that used to be grown in Catalonia 50, 100 or even 200 years ago. Because today’s market is based on differentiation, authenticity, recovering one’s roots, maintaining one’s traditions; it’s based on making the most of wine tourism as a means of generating an alternative stream of income that improves a winery’s bottom line and allows it to differentiate itself even more and to build a stronger brand image. It’s about telling the story of each winery so that a consumer can really appreciate and understand the wine; a story that is interesting and that can reach out to a much wider audience than just wine experts and specialists and bring them closer to the wineries and the world of wine.
…it’s based on using the internet to enhance a winery’s presence and image.
… it’s based on being aware that the local market is important, but that the international market is even more important…
… and in order to be able to tell a winery’s story, both at local level and at the international level, the use of the internet and Social media is vital.
Nowadays, it’s perfectly possible to transmit authenticity and personal stories using new technologies. And that wider audience, which is probably less expert and more widely differentiated, says that it likes what it hears.
In addition, wineries can now get first-hand feedback from their customers, on their tastes and preferences. Today, success is assured for those wineries that are able to obtain and interpret those tastes and preferences, by supplying products that are in line with their target market.
Definió Oriol a estos vinos que se están elaborando en Cataluña como vinos con futuro. Y estoy de acuerdo con él.
Oriol defined the wines that are being produced in Catalonia as ‘wines of the future’. And I agree with him.
I’d hardly ever heard anyone from the production side of the wine world speak about the above things that Oriol spoke about.
I have to say that things are moving in the wine world. One of the places they say that they have heard the message from the market is INCAVI. And they say that they’re also willing to transmit messages too and to do some 21st century marketing. Congratulations to INCAVI for their innovative work! And part of their work was organizing this event, which everyone enjoyed so much, with the aim of promoting the wines of Catalonia.
The whole presentation was a tremendous learning experience. Using drawings and photos, Oriol explained each and every common factor shared by the wines of Catalonia. He vividly explained the enormous efforts that are being made to recover autochthonous grape varieties.
After his presentation there was a tasting of 22 wines, where we could appreciate not only the common factors shared by Catalonian wines, but also the high quality and diversity.
The presentation was like one of those movies that you see sometimes that you really liked and would like to see again, rather than risk going to see a different one which would probably be boring and awful.
¿And what wines did we taste?
This post in Spanish: Presentación en Madrid de “Cataluña, país de grandes vinos”. Vinos con futuro.
“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.
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