SI was at the Sixth Edition of Fenavin 2011, Spain’s largest wine fair held every two years in Ciudad Real earlier in May. The fair which attracts winemakers from all the 69 wine producing regions of the country brings together not only buyers and producers from within Spain but numerous importers from across the world, from the Americas to East Asia.
Pictured, from left: Carolina Gimeno of Inquave with other members of the Indian delegation at Fenavin 2011
This year saw a small delegation of ten put together by “Inquve” the Spanish trade promotional organisation in Delhi to participate in the expo and SI was part of this group, since then called “G-10 INDE”. G-10 comprised of select importers, both established and those looking to expand their portfolios, hoteliers and two representing publications.
Spain is not only one of the oldest wine producing countries in the world (the first vineyards on the Iberian Peninsula were cultivated by the Phoenecians about 3,000 years ago, the tradition continued by Romans and Visigoths) it also has the largest acreage under vineyards in the world, approximately 1.18 million hectares. No wonder with their experience, Spain produces some of the best wines too. And to give you a statistic, nearly four billion litres of wine are produced in this country ! So it is not just football and bullfights here, wine is a serious business!
Fenavin 2011 was an extensive show spread across 29,520 sq. mts in five halls. The show, which was well organised with 1,197 exhibitors participating and 12,182 trade visitors from 54 countries, up by 104% from Fenavin 2009.
It was a business oriented expo with very topical seminars and conference sessions being held in parallel and this was reflected in the quality of visitors rather than mere ‘footfalls’. The Tasting Gallery was a unique experience and the manner in which the wines were categorised made tasting simple and pleasurable. You could go to the tables based on what you were looking for and then decide which producer you wanted to talk to.
While it is not possible to mention all the stalls visited and wines tasted, some of the wines I tasted included an excellent cava from Bodegas Pere Ventura. It was also a pleasure meeting Pere Ventura himself and his Export Manager Ariane Fresel. The wines from Puente De Rus bodegas represented by their charming Export Head Francisco Gonzalez were excellent, as also the wines of Tomas Sanchez and Ramon Esteso of Bodegas Olcaviana.
Some of the bulk red wines from Bodegas Taray *(Manuel Moreno – Export Manager) were very interesting at their price point and were being actively considered by some members of the Indian delegation. Talking of bulk wine, there is a World Bulk Wine Exhibition put together by a group of Spanish entrepreneurs which was held last year in Amsterdam and was a great success, according to Cristina Villar Miranda, Director of Communications. Based on the experience of the last show, the organizers are returning to Amsterdam again in 2011.
When talking to members of our delegation of G-10 Inde, A S Wadhwa of Natures Bounty, said, “This has been a good trip for me and I have concluded three long term contracts for the import of wines from here. While we already have some Spanish labels in our portfolio, the new contracts with arrivals in September, will help us push Spanish wines even further”.
Kunal Mehta of De Vine said, “Being here is a good experience and it is great seeing wines of all regions of Spain under ‘five roofs’. All the major wineries are present and wines are available at all price points, both bottled and bulk. Some of these are in very new and creative packaging. I am in serious dialogue with a handful of bodegas for introducing their wines in India.”
Sunil Gupta, General Manger of the Sheraton Rajputana in Jaipur observed that due to the high landed price of wine in India, and we are a nascent market, we can offer the consumer entry level wines that are still affordable after all taxes and overheads”.
To quote Nemsio de Lara, President of Fenavin, “The trade fair is an absolute luxury, a source of pride, complete satisfaction, because we have also contributed to the full booking of hotels and restaurants and because thanks to FENAVIN, Ciudad Real is now known by many.”
A highlight of the three day event was watching the Flamenco dancers on the second night! All in all, it was an excellent show and we look forward to a bigger and better one in 2013! Mention must also be made of Carolina Gimeno of Inquave who put this trip together so successfully.