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!
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.