Bodegas Pinea: Winning Over the US from Ribera del Duero
They set off on a trip through the winegrowing world in search of the best terroir and they found it in Ribera del Duero; it was there that they created Bodegas Pinea.
They set off on a trip through the winegrowing world in search of the best terroir and they found it in Ribera del Duero; it was there that they created Bodegas Pinea. They currently sell the bulk of production in the US through the haute cuisine sector and specialized distribution. We interviewed one of the winery's founders, Vicente del Pliego.
How did you get your start in the wine industry? What is most appealing about the industry and why did you choose Ribera del Duero as your home base?
My partner, Hugo del Pozzo, and I have always been passionate about wine. One day we decided to turn that passion into our lifestyle. We visited many of the world's wine regions with a view to finding the ideal location to achieve our goal: to make one of the best wines in the world. Ribera del Duero meets all of our qualifications: it's a place with unique characteristics where we believe that Tempranillo grapes (which we use to make our wines) achieve their full potential.
Since inception, Bodegas Pinea has had a clear focus on exports, with the US as our main market. What qualities of 17 by Pinea wines are most highly valued by US consumers?
We studied in the US and, over the course of our professional career we have made many connections there, plus Hugo lives there. As a result, getting our wines into that market has been relatively easy, although we believe that our true success is that we make outstanding wines. We are extremely rigorous with every part of the production process and our final product reflects that. The US market likes authentic wines, ones that reflect their roots and express the qualities of their terroir.
Which commercial channels do you use to distribute Bodegas Pinea wines in the US? In what types of restaurants and specialized stores are they available?
We are in stores that choose their international wines very carefully, where they only pick the most exceptional wines from each region of the world. Moreover, our wines are available in many haute cuisine restaurants where the wine list is very important. These are restaurants where we share the same philosophy of offering a product of the highest quality, and we are extremely proud that they serve our wine.
Isaac Fernández is the oenologist behind Bodegas Pinea's wines. How close are his ties with the winery?
Very close. Isaac is a member of our main team, and he's been with us since the winery was founded. He coordinates and oversees every part of the winemaking process, but without the rest of the team, his work would be impossible to carry out.
What is the Connected Bottle technology that Bodegas Pinea uses and what are the advantages for consumers?
This technology aims to involve consumers in the winemaking process and share the passion and care that we put into every part of the process; we want them to live the experience and feel like they're part of Pinea.
Every bottle that leaves our winery has a digital footprint, or chip, through which the consumer can verify the authenticity of the bottle and access information related to the vintage and production process (photos, videos, exclusive content, etc.). It's a direct communication channel with our consumers, where we also receive information, ratings and comments from them.
What's the connection between the 17 by Pinea wine and golf?
We have ties to golf as a result of a series of circumstances... In 2017, our wine was served at a gala dinner for the leading tournament on the circuit (where the winner was Sergio García, from Spain). This opened up lots of doors for us at clubs and restaurants and really put us on the map. Since then, we have had many opportunities that have helped us reach the position where we are today.
Text: Rodrigo García Fernández