Dutch Entrepreneurs Make a Spanish Wine Dream a Wine Reality
Newly released rosé wine V-Rosé is sweeping the market in the Netherlands, thanks to a fantastic new collaboration between newly formed Dutch company Sovinos and Spanish winery Vegamar.
Text: Adrienne Smith/@ICEX
Longtime friends Huub van den Muijsenbergh and Sander Horsthuis had a dream. It was one that they constructed slowly over annual golf trips to Spain from their native Holland, during which they brainstormed about how to bring their shared passion for wine to life by developing a wine concept that would take the market by storm.
For some this dream might have stayed just that: a holiday fantasy brought on in an idyllic Spanish setting. However, the pair’s backgrounds in wine and marketing – Huub as a vinologist and the owner of La Persistance, a wine importer for the Dutch market; and Sander as the owner of an international advertising agency called Trumpit – provided them with both the impetus and the know-how to get this project underway.
The dream finally became a reality last year, when the partners found exactly what they were looking for: a rosé wine produced by Valencian winery Bodegas Vegamar that they were convinced could take on the world, starting in the Netherlands. Foods and Wines from Spain interviewed Sander about this journey and how the wine brand V-Rosé and the company Sovinos came about. This is what he had to say.
How did this collaboration with Spanish winemaker Pablo Ossorio and Bodegas Vegamar develop?
Huub had followed Bodegas Vegamar for a number of years and he already did successful business with them through Ingrid Ortuño Mas. We tasted the beautiful wines at Bodegas Vegamar and there was one specific rosé wine that opened the eyes of Huub; one look, one smile, this is IT! Back in the Netherlands, I immediately started working together with my creative team to further develop the concept and design the Valencia brand.
We were inspired by the Valencia bat, the protector of the rice fields. The design was simple: one "V" in the shape of a bat that will stand prominently on the wine bottle. Our V-Moment had started! We agreed to a follow-up visit to Bodegas Vegamar to present and carry out our plans. The inspiring conversation with Technical Director and Winemaker Pablo Ossorio and Winemaker Maripaz Quílez during this visit gave us the confidence that we could work with this beautiful wine made from 100% Merlot grapes.
They went to work to make the wine completely to our own needs and taste specifications.
We received three different trial bottles in the Netherlands a little while later and had five sommeliers blindly taste them in combination with other rosés from Provence and Spain. The rosé that we now have in our bottle was invariably in the top two of that test series. The second test, conducted at the Wine Professional fair in Amsterdam, again demonstrated that this Merlot is 100% “V” worthy.
Chapeau for Pablo, Maripaz and Bodegas Vegamar, there is a good reason that Vegamar rosé was chosen as one of the best rosados in Spain at the 2017 Verema Awards for the Spanish wine industry.
Tell me a little bit about the wine itself.
V-Rosé owes its unique character to a microclimate with Mediterranean influences. It is a delicious, pale, salmon-pink rosé for sharing with the people you love. In the nose it has clean aromas of red fruit and flowers. The palate is intense, filling the mouth with a delicate balance of fruit, clean and fresh acidity, and a pleasant sweetness. The acidity, fruit and sweetness combine for a long, lingering finish. Also, food pairing is surprisingly nice with shellfish, Ibérico ham, vegetables, soft cheeses, paella and more.
How did Sovinos come about?
This adventure led to the founding of Sovinos in the beginning of this year (2018), a wine company that produces the finest wines from Spain and presents them on the market wrapped in an attractive packaging with a clear message.
Where do you market V-Rosé?
We received the first shipment of V-Rosé at the beginning of March, and started immediately activating sales. V-Rosé is now exclusively available at carefully selected locations; “V-Points”. We believe that our brand will be fully appreciated at places that matter and are able to support our brand. You will find our rosé in the most beautiful restaurants and wine bars, at fashion events, music festivals and launch parties – all outstanding places where you will be able to take the time to enjoy our wine. All V-Points feature promotional materials such as printed wine coolers, wine barrels, wine displays and beach flags that support the “V" brand and enhance the total experience.
Do you have any other projects in the works?
For the next two years we will focus on Valencia with the V-Rosé, and next year we plan to present our V-White, V-Red and V-Cava, also in collaboration with Bodegas Vegamar. Another project in the works is a plan to launch V-Bio or Vio, an organic wine from DO Valencia. Since Vegamar has no official organic wine, we’ve found an alternative bodega. In the meantime, we also have the ambition to expand our market to Spain, Germany and Denmark.
Longtime friends Huub van den Muijsenbergh and Sander Horsthuis had a dream. It finally became a reality last year, when the partners found exactly what they were looking for: a rosé wine produced by Valencian winery Bodegas Vegamar.