This Navarre winery is committed to conquering China, the USA and Canada
Located only eight kilometers away from Pamplona, Bodega Otazu is one of the most international wineries in Spain. Proof of this is in the fact that the number of countries to which it exports its wines has slowly grown over the past four years, from thirteen in 2012 to a total of 27 countries in 2016. Likewise, by the end of 2017, it will have invoiced its products in 32 countries among which the highest-volume importers are China, the United States, and neighboring Canada. At the same time, the company has also managed to introduce its products into Bermuda, Kenya and Colombia, among other places.
Bodega Otazu has recently made a giant leap in its world expansion with the opening of a Flagship Store in China. Last November 3rd, the Managing Director of Bodega Otazu, Guillermo Penso, travelled to the city of Guangzhou to open the winery's first retail outlet in the third largest city in this Asian country. The store is located inside "The Place" mall, and not only can shoppers buy Bodega Otazu's wines here, but the location also serves as a commercial office for the winery and the distribution center for the rest of the country.
All of Bodega Otazu's wines are made exclusively with grapes from the 110 hectares of vineyards it owns, which encircle the winery: Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. One vineyard is even certified as a Protected Denomination of Origin Pago.
At Foods & Wines from Spain, we wanted to dig deeper into Bodega Otazu's export trajectory, which is why we spoke to its Managing Director, Guillermo Penso, who shared some of the keys to the company's firm dedication to the Chinese market
Why has Bodega Otazu made such a strong commitment to China as an export market?
We're committed to China because it is a young country in terms of its wine culture, which is very dynamic and changing. In addition to its massive population, it is one of the countries with the greatest growth index in terms of wine consumption and interest in wine, especially with regard to high-quality, luxury wines.
What qualities of Spanish wine are the most valued by Chinese consumers? What type of consumers is Otazu targeting in China?
Unfortunately, the greatest quality that many Chinese consumers see in Spanish wine is its low price. In our case, as a small, luxury, family-owned winery, our target customer is very different. Our customers are Chinese wine lovers, who want to learn about and experience excellent, singular wines.
Have you arrived at any type of agreement / collaboration with restaurants, hotels, cooking schools in China to distribute and spread the word about your wines?
The collaboration strategies in China are extremely varied, from appearances on television to educational wine tastings targeted at distributors and commercial teams. We opened a store/showroom in the city of Guangzhou that has been a fantastic tool in terms of commercialization. We give classes there, bring clients and show the general public the "Otazu Experience".
How did the possibility to appear on various MasterChef China episodes come about?
This project was developed in conjunction with a good customer of ours, a producer of the program, who fell in love with Otazu during his visit and decided that it was an idyllic place to film the program.
Finally, what are your export objectives for the year 2018?
We are dedicated to reaching the following objectives for next year: to expand in all of our current markets, to increase our presence in international markets from 32 to 38 countries by the end of the year, and to increase the number of provinces and states where we are present in Canada and the United States, respectively. We are currently present in the two main provinces in Canada (Ontario and Quebec) and in 18 states in the USA.