I arranged to meet Francisco to see his Winery. We were supposed to meet at 12:30, but a series of unexpected events postponed my arrival. Francisco regretted we would not have the chance to visit his vineyards, which he believes are the key of his business. So we only visited the winery.
I finally reached the Ruiz Jiménez Winery. Francisco has very clear ideas. He started his business 17 years ago, and he concentrated his efforts on organic wine. Ever since his business has not stopped growing at a minimum rate of 10% every year. How many wineries can say that in 2009 and 2010?
He works a lot. In his words I can sense the confidence of an experienced person who knows for sure the way to continue growing at this pace. He is a person who must be taken into account in the world of organic wine production in Spain. There are two matters he tries to excuse himself for –not being able to attend every single fair or event he is invited to, and not taking advantage of new technologies such as the Internet. He said he does not want to be known for the term “organic”, but for the quality of his products, which are indeed organic.
Regarding the Internet, he recognizes he should have more and better presence on the net, but he wants to do it in a global and professional way.
Francisco started 17 years ago as part of a cooperative. However, five years later he decided to quit and start his own business. During these years, Francisco has built up a close relationship with his customers in different parts of the world. 95% of his sales are made abroad. At this point, visiting fairs implies meeting new customers or consolidating the relationship with old clients.
He showed me his premises, where there is a special place for tasting at the barrels area. In our way, once more he regrets I cannot visit his vineyard –the very essence of his success. It is there where the “super tasting” takes place. I could see all the awards his wines have been given since the beginning of his business, all displayed in a very original manner on the barrels. And then, Francisco added –I know we should be on the Internet… but I don’t have time”.
I visited his website where the business they perform is briefly presented and where the pictures of his vineyards represent a core part. The vineyards are simply breathtaking. I hope it is clear through these lines that I deeply admire the trading tasks he has carried out in person, his production of very-high-quality wine, and his outstanding results. However, there will be customers, or his customers’ customers willing to know more about his winery and his wines, and it would be very helpful that he could have his own voice in the “great conversations” taking place in the world of wine.
I hope I have faithfully express the idea that Francisco’s Winery has thousands of wonderful stories to tell, and that his sales would increase if he shared such stories through the internet (such are the advantages of Social Media).
See you soon, Francisco. I wouldn’t miss your vineyards for the world.
This post in Spanish: Vino ecológico en Rioja. Viñedos Ruiz Jiménez