Distributor partners with Spanish winery-A A +A
Sunday, August 25, 2013
WHEN Titania Wine Cellar Inc. president and chief executive officer Jose Meneses realized they needed to be in retail, he immediately thought of partnering with Cebuano businessman Joseph Gandionco.
Titania is a nationwide distributor of wines and, Meneses said, handles almost all the big establishments in Cebu like hotels and resorts. In the 1990s, Gandionco distributed wines for them in Cebu.
Gandionco, of Julie’s Bakeshop fame, found what he described as a great spot on PaseoSaturnino near Maria Luisa Subdivision in Banilad, Cebu City. In February, the two opened Just Wine, a wine and tapas bar.
Meneses and Gandionco are passionate about wines and have partnered with Spanish winemaker Palacio de la Vega to bring its products to the Philippines for the first time.
Palacio de la Vega exports manager Jose Luis Gomez highlighted the qualities of the wines they brought in during an event in Just Wine Saturday night.
Gomez said the wines come from the Navarra region at the border of France and Spain and were special.
“You have a beautiful weather, a Spanish weather. But we are using French grapes so the result is a very fine wine. With a very Spanish style, a little touch of Flamenco,” he said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.
The wines come with a DO Navarra label, which he said ensures its quality. DO or Denominacion de Origen are given by the Spanish government to ensure quality. “They control what you do in your winery,” said Gomez.
Palacio de la Vega was established in 1889 and was the first winery in its region, Gomez said.
“One of the best things about Palacio de la Vega is the price. It’s a very good value for the money. We have a very nice price for a wine like a Reserva in 2005,” he said.
During the event, Gomez particularly pointed out their Chardonnay as “very special.”
“Normally, the Chardonnay that you can drink in the market is just fresh and fruity white wine but this one’s barrel-fermented,” he said.
Meneses said a Palacio de la Vega Gran Reserva, which has been aged in barrel for years, costs below P1,000. He said this is “still very affordable. Still very attractive. Others cost P1,500 to more than P2,000.”
During the event, Gomez also unveiled organic wines from Casa Rojo, where he is the general manager.
Meneses said wine consumption in the country is increasing.
“Actually the growth in Cebu is really good. That’s why we are placing more efforts and emphasis in our retail here,” said Meneses.
Gandionco said he was surprised that even younger people have started to drink and appreciate wine.
Gomez said that for his company, “Cebu is going to be one of our main focus. Until now, we have been pushing a lot with Titania in Manila. Now our next step is Cebu. We are going to invest a lot of time and effort in developing the brand here.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 26, 2013.