The only Spanish "Master of Wine" has warned that "we are neglecting the best client of our wines, the Spaniard", and he presented Winefuture- Rioja 2009, which will bring Robert Parker to Spain in the month of November
The great Pancho Campo, first and only Spanish Master of Wine and President of Winefuture Rioja 2009, brought the activities at FENAVIN 2009 in Ciudad Real to a spectacular close with his chat "A World in Crisis. Challenges for the Wine Industry", assuring before a crammed hall of dedicated public that what the sector needs is a Barack Obama to lead and defend it, apart from warning that "we are too busy being concerned about sales abroad, while we are neglecting our wines' best customer, the Spanish consumer".
During his presentation Pancho analyzed what the main challenges confronted by the world of wine are, setting-out some possible solutions. Pancho likewise described the opportunities that can be found against the crisis, in particular for Spanish wine.
Unity amongst us; need for unique leadership that promotes moderate consumption of wine as a healthy food product amongst the younger generations and we need to be defended against those that demonize wine as an alcoholic drink; investment in marketing, promotion and sales, are some of the challenges of the Spanish wine industry, Pancho Campo said in his dynamic exposition.
"Wine is Cool"
We have to present wine to the younger generations as something friendly, this in moderation of course. "Wine is Cool", he said, exemplifying the comment with a slogan that supports the change in image that is offered of wine, in which there are too many disperse messages that do not reach the new consumers.
Then stress must be placed on exports to the United States, as Spain is now in fashion there due to figures such as Nadal, Gasol, Penélope Cruz, Alonso, etc, and the Americans consider that Spanish wines, along with Chilean wines, have the best quality-price ratio. And doing this with confidence in the adventure, free of complexes, is another of the challenges.
And above all domestic consumption must not be neglected. "It is incomprehensible that in Spain less than 20 liters per person a year are consumed, which in my opinion means that we are looking too much to exporting abroad, when the best customer is the national customer, the Spaniard", Campo says, for whom "if the demand in consumption of wine does not increase, then the distributors will have nothing to sell".
The Spanish "Master of Wine" had already previously scanned the global crisis, indicating how its factors have an influence on wine. "It is evident that a drop in consumption in restaurants and an increase in consumption at home is being noticed; sales of the more expensive wines are dropping, something that is probably influenced by the decrease of European tourists coming to our country", he comments.
Likewise, consumption in mid-priced restaurants is also dropping, in contrary fashion to fast food establishments, while exports are also dropping. In these times of crisis fragmentation in promotion is even more obvious: "We are not conveying a global impact of Spanish wines and thus the message simply dissolves".
Unity and Joint Promotion
The lack of leadership is notable in Spain. "What we need is the Obama of Spanish Wine to convince the winemaker that 'Yes We Can', and likewise, as a result of the crisis, we will see associations of wineries and regions that will promote their products in joint fashion", Pancho Campo announced.
According to this expert the opportunities to increase sales of Spanish wines are there: "Steven Spurrier declared in Decanter Magazine that Spanish wine has the best quality-price ratio in the world, and we must take advantage of this and start selling the way the Italians or the Americans do. If we are offered 'Lambrusco' when we go to an Italian restaurant anywhere in the world; or Pepsi or Coca-cola when we visit a hamburger joint; then tapas bars must expand and Spanish restaurants around the world must offer Spanish wine".
According to Campo "we have to study the consumer to profit from these opportunities", "as the consumer has changed his scale of values". We now have to focus our objective on the fact that "wine is a healthy food product, an essential staple and on family values". In like manner to how "the communication and publicity systems have to adapt, working jointly on maintaining the expense in promotion and advertising, adapting their marketing departments to the current period of crisis; and modifying the catalog of products every certain time so that they will not be outdated".
Wineries must support the distributors and the HORECA channel, and they must undertake new price strategies, not just simply dropping them (understanding the real role that promotions and discounts have) and emphasis must be placed on added value and the service we provide.
We have to put the stress on women and wine-tourism
The search for new consumer "niches" is another strategy, different markets, few but quite clear, without dispersing ourselves; we have to put the stress on women, as this is a very important group that is normally in charge of buying wine for the family and it is a group that consumes wine, and we are neglecting it; we also have to put the stress on wine-tourism and "wager on our own identity, on a message that will differentiate us from the others". In like manner he emphasized that "we produce a lot of wine in Spain, yet we are not prepared to serve it correctly in the restaurant and we have to work more on the wine per glass formula".
Upon finishing his conference, the Master of Wine encouraged an interesting debate with the public, to then officially present WineFuture-Rioja 09, the event that will be bringing Robert Parker to Spain for the very first time, along with another 32 names that are highly influential in the sector on an international level, this to analyze the challenges that the global wine industry is facing, providing solutions, ideas and leadership, as is the case with names such as Jancis Robinson, Mel Dick, Oz Clarke, Robert Joseph, Dan Jago or Steven Spurrier himself, amongst others.
WineFuture 2009, international sessions organized by The Wine Academy, will gather together the most important personalities from the global wine industry in the upcoming month of November in Spain, this to analyze the challenges that the sector faces. Representing Spain, amongst other lecturers of a more technical nature, will be the Director of FENAVIN, Manuel Juliá, along with José Peñín, Representative of the Guía Peñín.
Pancho Campo has coursed wine and wine marketing studies at the prestigious University of California, Davis (UCD). He writes about wines for many publications, specifically for prestigious magazines such as Australia & New Zealand Wine Industry Journal and his contrasted opinion is included in many reportages made by the BBC or The Times. He has also participated in training courses in Bordeaux, London and Austria. He is the professor of the courses that the WSET imparts in Spain and founder of the International Wine Symposium.
He has also founded the first world meeting on Global Warming and Wine; the Madrid Wine Festival and the Barcelona Wine Festival. Apart from this he has organized the World Congress on Global Warming and Wine that counts with the participation of Al Gore and the support of the OIV and the Ministry of the Environment.
The Wine Academy
The Wine Academy (TWA) is an organization dedicated to training and qualifying professionals from the wine industry and it is the official representative of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) for Spain. His courses are attended by technicians of regulation councils and wineries, producers, marketing and export personnel, sommeliers, etc. The Academy organizes the events described below and habitually collaborates with regulation councils, such as Jerez, Ribera del Duero, Rías Baixas, Somontano or Ribera del Guadiana, and with entities such as Bodegas Miguel Torres, Castillo de Perelada, Codorniú or Allied Domecq.