When you are a wine distributor you have the tough job of tasting wines from various vineyards, importers, other distributors, etc. in an attempt to find just the right wines to purchase and add to your sales portfolio (tasting is the fun part, then you have to write the checks). A number of months ago I had the good pleasure of meeting Christophe Chapillon of Chapillon Wines. Christophe lives in the Zaragoza area in Spain and represents a number of family-owned wineries in Spain assisting them in importing their wines to the U.S.
One such winery is Torre de Barreda, owned and operated by the Barreda family. The Barreda family archives show that the Barreda’s have been making wine in Spain since the 18th century. Their winery is located in the town of Corral de Almaguer which is in the Provence of Toledo in central Spain. We were impressed with Christophe’s wine portfolio and added three of the Barreda wines and two other Spanish wines to our sales portfolio.
This past Thursday and Friday we had the great pleasure of spending time with Juan Barreda, a third generation winemaker, here in Elkhart while he was in the U.S. on a sales tour.
Today’s Barreda winery was built by Juan’s grandfather in 1945. The winery is approximately 80 miles from Madrid. Juan resides in Madrid and works from a winery office in his parents’ home, also in Madrid. The Barreda family operation consists of three separate vineyards totaling 65 acres. They grow four different grape varietals: Airén, a white grape native to Spain, and three red varieties: Tempranillo, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Juan tells me that they produce approximately 900,000 liters of wine annually. This amounts to about 1.2 million bottles to give you a perspective on how much 900,000 liters amounts to. They don’t actually bottle all of the wine, only about 60,000 liters. The balance is sold on the bulk wine market. They bottle about 80,000 bottles of wine. Of the 80,000 bottles about 35,000 are sold in Spain, 45,000 are exported and 5,000 bottles come to the U.S. Of the 900,000 liters of wine they produce, 550,000 are a white Airén wine. The Airén grape represents about 30% of all grapes grown in Spain. The balance of the wine they produce, (350,000 liters) is red wine which includes Tempranillo, Syrah and Cabernet.
It was great fun and indeed a pleasure to have Juan visit us and learn about Spanish wines and wine making, particularly the wines that the Barreda family produces. We eagerly await his return to Elkhart.
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Until next week,