Sunday, 8 June 2014

8.6.14 GB Opens Archives; Valdivia Still For Sale; Sherry Should be DOC

Gonzalez Byass is opening up some of its archives in recognition of International Archive Day. On Monday the public will be able to see some of the company’s historic records in two sessions, the first at 11.00 and the second at 13.00. These records show a fundamental part of the social and economic history of Jerez as well as the family and business legacy of the firm’s founder, Manuel Maria Gonzalez Angel.

Bodegas Valdivia (Foto Diario Jerez)
No buyers have yet been found for Bodegas Valdivia. If times were less difficult it would make an attractive proposition. It is a pristine bodega attached to a beautiful old hotel, the Villa del Duque. The sale includes furniture and cars, the bottling plant, the brands, the vineyards, website, and the wine, which is being looked after elsewhere. It has all been divided into lots to try and facilitate a sale. The liquidators are hoping to raise 16.5 million, but are far from optimistic.

Jose Ramon Estevez (Foto Diario Jerez)

Sherry should have a Denominacion de Origen CALIFICADA, according to Jose Ramon Estevez, the president of Grupo Estevez. His is one of the leading firms in the area with turnover of 103 million Euros, 800 hectares of vineyard and sales of 30 million bottles annually.

In an analysis prepared for a forum sponsored by the Banco Popular and publisher Grupo Joly, and in the presence of other bodegueros, growers and cooperative members, he suggested this as a way to create employment, wealth and increased prestige for Sherry.

He used the model of the French growers who are prepared to sacrifice quantity for quality and many of whose vineyards are classified. The Sherry growers should be proud to be so.

Many changes would have to be made: everything that goes into a bottle of Sherry would have to come from Jerez like the fortification spirit, for example. A change of mentality from the growers is needed, and from the bodegas too. Sherry should be repositioned as a unique wine of top quality, rather than an everyday drink. Much more investment is needed in promotion, and margins would need to be increased to cover that. (See Opinion)

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