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!
The sixth edition of Wine Gardens at Sieraków Manor (Poland) took place on 8th of June.
This year was full of innovations, which gave admirable results. Apart from the good optimization of time and of the organizational aspects, one of these new initiatives was the 60s ˗themed party, very funny! Concerts, music, dances and, of course, wines, cavas, prosecos, and champagnes, have undoubtedly been the protagonists.
The fun-professionalism binomial has perfectly worked, leaving a mark on the hearts of the participants, who surely understood the philosophy of our distributor Dom Wina and the eccentricity and uniqueness of the event.
The participants were 400, most of them from the wine club of Dom Wina and there were many bloggers and journalists.
A total of 140 wines and spirits from countries such as Argentina, New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Uruguay, Georgia, Moldova, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Israel, Italy, France, Spain and Scotland.
A competition of wines and spirits took place during the event with the following results:
I. Best white wine
1st place – Winnica Turnau Solaris
2nd place – Winnica Turnau Hibernal
3rd place – Golan Heights Winery Yarden Chardonnay
II. Best rosé wine
1st place – AT Roca Brut Rosat
2nd place – Chateau Vartely Individo Cabernet Sauvignon
3rd place – Chateau Gassier Le Pas du Moine
III. Best red wine
1st place – Golan Heights Winery Yarden Merlot
2nd place – Monte Faustino Amarone Valpolicella ex-aequo
2nd place – Santalba Ogga ex-aequo
3rd place – Salvano Barolo
IV. Best spirit
1st place – Dwor Sierakow Elderberry Vodka
2nd Place – Jura 18 YO
2nd place – Vodka Sierakow Manor Pepper ex-aequo
2nd place – Vodka Sieraków Manor Roast Grain ex-aequo
3rd place – Rum Dictador 12 YO
For our export, team it was an experience never lived before. We did not hide our initial perplexity in disguising ourselves, but we had such a happy and funny night that soon shame left room for good vibes and extravagance.
The influx to our stand was very good, there were moments where the queue to try our range of cavas was endless, moments of stress that we could quickly overcome with encouragement, motivation and gratitude in having been able to participate in such a great event. We hope the seventh edition will arrive soon and we cannot wait to discover the new themed party!
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.
Finally, it was time to embark on our great journey full of expectations for the great continent. Our mission began in Chicago with the main purpose of visiting the distributor that Classical wines has in the city, Connoisseur Wines.
Our agenda was full of appointments, we visited 16 points of sale, between wineries and restaurants and the result was that more than one restaurant decided to introduce in their menu our versatile Mont Marçal Brut Reserva with the possibility of tasting by glass. In other establishments, which dispose already of the reference Mont Marçal Reserva, Mont Marçal Brut Rosado is awe-inspiring and starts to succeed. Apart from visiting, we also take a break dining and enjoying the cuisine of the country with new customers and explaining our mission, vision and values, making a much more comprehensive and visual presentation of our products.
The third day, encouraged and eager for new adventures, we arrived in Portland to face the distributor of Classical wines called Galaxy Wines, importer from brands such as Can Feixas and Llopart and a faithful collaborator of our winery.
Analyzing its history, we saw that the importer buy more Mont Marçal comparing with other part of USA. Between the appointments prefixed with the responsible of Spanish wines and a seller, the dynamics was the same as the previous days. Dinners, tastings, promotional activities and visibility of the brand were the protagonists of these unforgettable days full of endeavors.
Seattle was our last stage; there we met Almudena and Steve, the directors of Classical Wines. The main theme of our meeting was the communication of the new organizational and structural changes of the company, useful to redirect the company towards a new path, where the future we hope smiling and where the quality is the pillar of our objectives. They told us about the qualitative improvement in the last two years, something that customers perceive more and more.
Summarizing, we can value this trip as very positive, the American market is growing, the cava begins to be part of the lives of Americans and this is not surprising given the innovative and proactive nature of this population. We know that the nature of the Americans is to be honest, competitive, energetic and ethnocentric and once they are loyal, they know how to be very devout.