The central position of Belgium in Europe, a true crossroads of the Latin and Germanic world, multilingualism and political, social and religious freedom have contributed to the cosmopolitan character of the country. Belgium is today a multicultural society based on tolerance and mutual respect. This wonderful country, of which we are increasingly in love, has many pearls that are the fruit of great architectural currents. In the middle Ages, cathedrals and belfries are built, monuments that still adorn the cities of Belgian art.In the twentieth century, Brussels became the capital of art nouveau, thanks to the combination of all these elements, which determine the inestimable architectural wealth of the country.
Belgium also owes its success to other factors: a highly skilled, multilingual and flexible workforce, the proximity of international decision-making centres based in Brussels, multiple financial and fiscal incentives, affordable real estate prices, a long tradition of hospitality and excellent social security. We speak of a hospitable country chosen by many immigrants from different countries who, with hopeful eyes, have seen Belgium as a mirage, a flash of confidence, leading them to establish themselves in the nation. Here, in all epochs, important intellectuals and personalities have found refuge, such as Karl Marx, Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Charles Baudelaire, Auguste Rodin.
Driving between this pure and intact nature, characterized by large forests, our Export team identify itself in the stillness and landscape beauty of this nation, where deer and hares cross the road without fear, and where the birds approach to get food, knowing that no one will hurt them here, because respect for any living being is a priority and a moral duty of the Belgians.
Our destination is Geel, a city of 40,000 inhabitants, one hour far away from the capital.
Since the 13th century, Geel has been the largest open therapeutic psychiatric community in the world.
In fact, it is near the sanctuary of Saint Dinfna (a girl of Irish origin who chose martyrdom in the seventh century AD not to give in to the incestuous intentions of the father), who is known to treat mental illnesses in particular and protect family assistance.
Throughout its history a network of generalized assistance was formed, a kind of asylum that has fascinated visitors of all times and be cited continuously as a model for therapeutic communities with a view to the deinstitutionalization.
Attracted by these methods of treatment, Vincent van Gogh’s father also thought of sending his son to attend the cures provided in Geel. Here, we attend the event of Serge van Lommel, owner of the AD VINDUM store specializing in different styles of wines from around the world: South Africa, California, France, Italy and Spain have to share the shelves of this beautiful store, decorated in all the details, not only from the visual point of view, but also from the emotional point of view. Yes, because Serge, together with his wife Suzanne, not only sell wines, but also sell emotions, love for what they do, continuous effort, perfection and hard work. With great fatigue, we refer to the fact that both do not stop for a moment, their energy is indomitable, indescribable with words, but only with images. When Serge picked us up at the hotel and took us to a beautiful wooden country house in the middle of nowhere, where the tasting took place, every 5 minutes he got out of the car and, dressed in his elegant suit, without fear of getting dirty, he put the signs that showed people how to get to the event. Serge with his hammer, his panels and so much hope is what will stay engraved in our heads, a very easy-going man…ready for everything!
A wonderful country house has been our home on 13th and 14th of October, days of typical Belgian temperature, plenty of sunshine and 27 degrees! ☺
Tasting is the art of using the senses to discover and appreciate wines and cavas. Thanks to the use of the five senses, you can learn to perceive the tiniest nuances of flavour and aromas, beginning to appreciate the origin of the grapes, the importance of terroir and microclimate to the finished product, for this reason an event more focused on people truly interested in a remote place, has been ideal.
Everything was impeccably organized; our table of the entire Mont Marçal range was located right in front of the entrance, between Flemish paintings and old wine making utensils, being the first stage of the customers, who arrived. The influx of people has been surprising, considering that it was a very hot weekend for the Belgians, who unbelievers enjoyed cavas and wines outdoors in a Renaissance style garden among flowers and old bushes. After moments of high intensity of affluence and of goliardic moments with the guests, the tasting of our products had an exponential success. The most appreciated products were our Grand Cuvé Reserva, our Mont Marçal Brut and … our masterpiece product Aureum. Using PowerPoint presentations of more general explanations about the process of making the cava, the used native grapes and more specifically our products, people were impressed, acquiring even more knowledge.
Belgium is a very important market for us, the Belgians are connoisseur and curious tasters, they know how to consume our products and how to pair them with their exquisite local gastronomy. The most remarkable aspect was the retention of visitors, most of those arrived at the beginning of the event and stayed until the end, a very positive signal that translates as something important, people were at ease, in harmony with the others and in a friendly environment, so much of spending the whole day there.
We will take in the heart the sweetness of Suzanne, always accompanied by her faithful Chihuahua Oesie, the kindness of two other collaborators who helped us from the organizational point of view, and the energy, the optimism and the fun of Serge.
We hope to see them soon, probably in the next event in March.
Hartelijk dank AD VINDUM!
Next stop for our export team was the wonderful Netherlands, cradle of great culture and beautiful meadows, which extend throughout its flat topography, until reaching the height of the sea to the north and west! The first stage was Horst aan de Maas, about 20 kilometers from the German border, to attend the meeting of our big distributor Wjintransport.
They are for us a cozy family. Bas, Leen, Marc have a piece of our heart, their involvement and their commitment is so strong that we always have the same closeness. Bas, the executive director, gave us important information about our current situation in Germany and Netherlands. Everything is stable, with good forecasts like last year. The situation in Germany, a crucial market for what is the cava, which tends to collide with the native Schaumweine, is improving.
We started our journey to Salzgitter to meet the owner of EVM WEINDEPOT, Klaus Elblinger. From the outset, the friendly owner, together with his wife, in all sincerity admitted that the quality of our products is very good; they tried in their frequent trips to Spain different cavas and found none at the same height as ours in price –quality terms.
Encouraged and eager to show us the spaces for tasting, storage and leisure activities, Klaus accompanied us throughout his huge installation. In their portfolio, they dispose of different references such as limoncello, high quality grappas, brandy, cognac, whiskey, wines from Chile, South Africa, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain. The part dedicated to the tasting, with a capacity of 180 people, has a design with a typical German style, all wooden and the interior reminds a typical German “Kneipe”, with two huge and modern kitchens, which they use when they organize pairing, events and dinners. All the offices are in an annex building where the whole logistics and administration part is centralized. It was a pleasant meeting, they hope to keep more deal with us, do some event together and collaborate more side by side.
The second stage was Haibach to attend the appointment with the importer Getraenke Breunig, where the owner Joe Breunig attended us impatient. What to say, a very nice and friendly customer with an immense desire to learn and to dare to bring trend products and emerging brands of vodka, whiskey, gin, brandy, cognac, grappa and Porto. His philosophy is to touch all the ranges of a producer and thus give the client the possibility to choose what they prefer, depending on their interest, demand and economic availability. Our products include the Aureum, Mont Marçal Brut y Mont Marçal Rosé y los Marcelona blanco, tinto y rosado. This has been a meeting of knowledge, contact and exchange of opinions. Joe usually arranges his proactive team together. He takes us into consideration to give him support when he needs it, specially what tastings are concerned.
We continue to tour the great Germany to get to touch the splendid and youthful city of Mannheim Suedlandhaus Horst Beiderwieden is our destination. A very big store where products of different price ranges are sold. In their portfolio, they have more than 35,000 articles of food as well as Delikatessen. The portfolio ranges from oils, vinegars, tea and cereals to cognacs, gin, grappa, whiskeys, brandy, and wines. For them, the search for gastronomic products, which respect their criteria, is increasingly difficult since the globalization of artisanal products is already very advanced. However, as a family business, they attach great importance to a personal relationship with producers and are open to new proposals.
Finally, we ended the trip in Stuttgart to visit Hans and Oliver Schmid from Weinimport Handels. From the beginning, they pointed out their satisfaction in the type of collaboration and relationship that we established. They are lovers of the Mont Marçal range that easily fits the profile of customers they have in their region.
It is necessary to open an interesting parenthesis, in this trip we touched different regions, in this case Baden-Württemberg, and previously Niedersachsen and Unterfranken. Being Germany historically a Country of principalities and nowadays a Bundesrepublik, the differences between the regions are very marked, this means that the clients of a region are a world apart compared to the clients of another and this is a relevant fact to keep in consideration at all times.
This trip was very important for the entire export team. In this way, we have been able to present ourselves to clients by dissociating ourselves from the stereotypes they had of us and explaining the new reality of Mont Marçal.
We will see you soon dear Germany, land of opportunities, prosperity and respect. Auf Wiedersehen!
Hungarian culture is one of the richest cultures known in Europe. Hungary is a nation that for decades has been supervised by the Soviet influence, but nowadays, freed from this heavy burden, it is a country, proud that wants to show the world its tradition and its folklore without forgetting to announce the magnificence of its cultural and artistic heritage.
The mission organized by the Cambra de Comerç de Terrassa and planned by the expert in International Trade Montse Llimós Torres had positive results for our brand. In addition to our team, a Novell coffee commercial and a commercial industrial machine joined the market research mission in Hungarian lands.
It is important to keep in mind that Hungary is a very difficult market to penetrate. Strategically, it is a very central country which borders Austria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine and it is very important to be present, but we must bear in mind that apart from its political situation, Hungary is a quite protectionist country. The most important sectors for them, what the import is concerned, are the secondary and tertiary sector (machinery, services, technology).
As far as the wine sector is concerned, it should be noted that in recent years Hungary has experienced gradual growth, but also a reduction in the volume of imports and an increase in exports, being a reference country in the wine sector with its production of Tokaji. The Hungarian government and the companies themselves invest in advertising campaigns and use different means to attract attention to local wines.
The price for the Hungarian market factor is decisive and it is considered that the value of Spanish wine is better than the Hungarian one. We can affirm that Spanish wine is more competitive and we have to seize this leads. Another reason for the presence of Spanish wines is the fact that it considerably increases the offer in a country where wine is a drink that is traditionally part of gastronomy. The white wines that our land offers are emerging in recent years compared to the consolidated red wines, especially those from the Rioja appellation of origin.
Cava is a bit delicate product to treat because there are sparkling wines that supply most of the consumption and, as Germany and Austria are the biggest importers, it is very difficult to penetrate. However, nothing is impossible!
Our export team met distributors, proposing its brand and comprehensively explaining the product portfolio, the processing techniques used and especially their vision and corporate values.
On behalf of the entire export team, we thank for the attention received during the cocktail at the Zenit in Budapest in honor of our presence at the mission. Major Sandor of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Embassy of Spain in Hungary who dealt with the organization of our agenda with professionalism and patience, theb market analyst Tibor and the commercial economic counselor of the Embassy of Spain in Budapest Susana de Ibarrondo and Guerrilla Echevarria.
Our export team flew to Southern California in order to give commercial support to the sellers.
The first day we were very animated in the company of Mark, from Wine Warehouse who with his energetic attitude and entrepreneurial spirit, accompanied us to visit restaurants and shops in the areas bordering Los Angeles. The feedback turned out to be very positive and the cava, as we realized during the last trips, is a product that finally starts to have a good status.
The following day, in company of Danielle, who visited our winery two years ago during the periodic visit that Classical wines organizes each year and who hosts pleasant memories of our winery, we toured restaurants and end customers. The day is much more intense than the previous one, visiting a total of 6 wineries and restaurants. The interest was very high and the questions were very frequent and specific. The implicated areas were Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Downtown, a potential market for our brand and the embodiment of our desire that finally becomes reality.
The days followed with an increasingly intense agenda and this motivated us and made us even more pretentious and hopeful.
Between clients and clients, we found different situations and scenarios to consider. A restaurant was intrigued with our products and passed a command at the time of the visit; other customers remained faithful to their Prosecos and are immovable.
Later, we moved to Orange Country to spend a day working with Edward, discovering every corner of the spot and getting to know the inhabitants up close. This county is one of the pristine areas of the United States. An always-sunny place, full of breathtaking views of the ocean and rich of attractions for all ages.
In one of our routes, we met the owner of an Italian restaurant that serves our Extremarium cava and he is so much satisfied with our products that he would like to expand its range with new references.
There is no doubt that Orange County is a key for us being a tourist and family place, we do not forget that it has the Disneyland Park. Among characters such as Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo and Mikey mouse, and restaurants where meals are organized with the best-known characters, we organized a tasting of our products. It was something sensational and in special and sometimes strange company!
The last day is propaedeutic and served as a training for the Wine Warehouse team that consists of 20 workers with a subdivision in Sothern team and Northern team. Our intention was to clarify and explain the process of elaborating a cava, since not everyone has knowledge of the traditional method of production and enter more specifically about our range of cavas.
This business trip was surely unique in its kind and incomparable. Summing up we can firmly affirm that the US market is receiving our products very positively and openly, the outlook is very versatile and the interest and desire to try new products, experience new sensations and pairings and the value of quality, is very great.
Despert began to import wine in Belgium after the First World War.
Of course, at the dawn of the company, the focus was much more towards the importation of French wines, but the new members of Despert also challenged themselves by starting to deal with wines from Spain, Portugal, Italy, Chile and South Africa, a challenge for them!
Our team has maintained with them for years a relationship of trust, professionalism and true friendship, every time they visit us or we visit their land, the treatment is the most enviable of all. One of the last events we attended was a promotion action. For us Despert is a great central figure for what is the Belgian market, always loyal to ou Extremarium range.
Our intense but pleasant journey started very early in the morning, where the event allowed us to attend the stands of different wineries to meet and taste the products offered, not only from those wineries that were present at the event, but also from those that did not have representatives there. Consumers had in this way the possibility to taste 200 wines among which our cavas.
Extremarium Brut Reserva and Extremarium Brut Nature Rosado competed with Spumante, Cremant, South Africa sparkling wine and Champagne.
Our Extremarium was of great interest. This cava is the fruit of our vineyards, where we breathe a fresh and healthy air, in an area characterized by an intact bucolic landscape, where the land is prepared to receive every year the fruits of the vines in its belly. An environment where the crunch of the leaves, the song of the birds and the noise of the fatigue of the vintners, who work tirelessly these lands, take visitors from these parcels to another dimension. A remote dimension to the frenetic pace of cities and the stress of everyday life. A cava, which is a hymn to the little joys of life that are made of unforgettable moments in the company of our loved ones.
Statistics show that the rosé version of the Extremarium cava has been one of the best-selling products. The fact of participating next to the sparkling products was positive and of good impact facing our cava. Analyzing the success of the event and listening with great attention to the feelings and reflections of the participants, we believe it is possible to increase our product range in Despert and participate with other references. We hope our next planned trip will arrive soon.
Belgium for us is a culturally very advanced country, where visitors are taken cared and pampered. Homeland of intense history, rich of beautiful medieval cities, varied cuisine and vibrant atmosphere of its streets. The inhabitants know how to live in a simple way, enjoying nature and this makes them very inclines to our business philosophy.