In this amazing trip took the visitors had the opportunity to discover the best Spanish products in Madrid before traveling to Aragón to raste Somontano PDO wine, truffles, ham or cheese, among other delicacies.
Seventeen buyers and distributors from 13 different countries had the opportunity to participate in #SpainFoodNation Hosted Buyers Program, which seeks to offer a general overview of the Spanish food industry. It includes visits to companies both large and small over the course of a week. This year, participants came from Serbia, Croatia, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Poland, United States, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The program started at Salón Gourmets, which was helped from April 25th to the 28th in Madrid and is one of the biggest agri-food industry events in Spain. On Monday the 25th, Tuesday the 26th and Wednesday the 27th, the participants were able to connect with professionals and exhibitors and see some of the most premium and innovative products firsthand. They also had the chance to conduct interview with different Spanish companies during these three days.
Somontano PDO wine, truffles, rice…
After the trade fair, the group split into two smaller groups, each of which traveled to Aragón, in trips co-organized with Aragón Exterior, for a series of different activities.
The first of the groups headed to the ENATE winery in Somontano PDO, located at the foothills of the Pyrenees. They learned about the winemaking process and the winery’s unique environment, and they tasted ENATE’s range of wines.
The next day the group visited the Jamones Julián Mairal factory in Barbastro, a city in the heart of the Somontano region. The company, which has been making homemade hams and sausages for over 60 years, provided them with a close-up look at the traditional production process.
This was followed by a visit to Trufapasión, in a small village called Estadilla. Program participants learned how black truffles are grown and preserved, and also searched for truffles on the property with the help of a trained dog. Lastly, they were able to taste some products with truffle. The next stop was lunch and a tour of Bodega SOMMOS. This contemporary, partially underground winery was named "One of the top 10 architectural wonders of the wine world" by 'The Drinks Business'.
After lunch, the group was able to visit the olive groves where Flor de Sal-Shio extra virgin olive oil is produced, which has unique characteristics as the soil has a high concentration of sodium. They also had a tour of the Arroz Brazal facilities, whose rice fields use pure water from the Pyrenees and are located at a higher altitude compared with other fields in Spain.
On this group's final day, they traveled first to Tierra de Cubas winery, in Cariñena PDO. Their exceptional wines are made immediately after the grapes are harvested, and their vineyards are managed with different objectives, which yields highly personalized wines. The last stop was the Gardeniers facility in Mercazaragoza, an agri-food logistics hub. This company produces organic vegetable preserves and creams with their seasonal raw produce, which is grown using sustainable and environmentally friendly methods.
A look at local fruits, cheese and ham
The second group's trip through Aragón was slightly different. Their first stop was the La Redonda estate in the Jalón Valley, where products such as pears, almonds, cherries, persimmons, and Arbequina extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) have been made for more than five decades. Two of the company's brands are served at Michelin-star restaurants and 4- and 5-star hotels. The group moved on to Dominio de Longaz, a boutique winery in Cariñena PDO, where they sampled the wines paired with delicious tapas prepared using La Redonda's EVOO. The following day they visited Quesos de Sierra Albarracín. Here participants discovered how the company makes sheep and goat milk cheeses using the same techniques as local shepherds and artisans from the local mountain range.
Next stop: Aire Sano. The group moved on to these drying facilities in a village called La Puebla de Valverde, close to Teruel. Jamón de Teruel PDO ham has been cured here since 1929. The facilities are part of Naturuel Corporation, which undertakes the entire production process, from farm to fork.The next stop on the itinerary was Manjares de la Tierra, which grows, harvests, and sells premium black truffles. Located in Sarrión, Teruel, the group was able to learn more about the production process and the company's wide variety of products. On the last day of the trip, the second group joined the first to visit the Gardeniers facility in Mercazaragoza.
These intense and exciting trips were able to give international buyers and distributors an inside look at some of Spain’s leading agri-food companies and surely helped them better understand the country’s incredible gastronomic landscape.