Suertes del Marqués: on the way to quality and specificity outside
Suertes del Marqués is a family winery which began producing wines in 2006. Twenty years before, they had started working as vine-growers, selling their grapes to another winery of Designation of Origin Valle de La Orotava (literally, Orotava Valley).
"We are proud of maintaining values as distinctiveness and traditionl crop as the cordón trenzado (the braided cord method) as we have vineyards up to 200 years, which keep going providing quality grapes and respect the rural landscape of the area."
They are located in the north of Tenerife, precisely in the Orotava Valley, in the municipality of the same name.
Suertes del Marqués take into account the tradition, which is a basic pillar of their winery’s philosophy. They try to interfere artificially, as little as possible, in wine elaboration, so they work with native yeast, avoid decanting and barely use sulphurous only for wine bottling.
The “know-how” is present in all processes carried out manually, from work in the vineyard to harvest. They avoid using systemic treatments in vineyard, in favor of using natural products in case of disease emergence.
They are not a certified operation because of ecological standards, since following the least interventionist practices is something they do by conviction, not only to obtain the certificate label.
Currently, what is the core business of the company?
Our wines can be classified into three sections:
First, the ones we call Vinos de Villa, which come from several wine-growers’ plots and other plots owned by the propriety, which produce wine independently and joined before bottling. Within this category we find our wines 7 Fuentes, El Lance, Medianías and Trenzado.
Second, the ones we call Vinos de Parcela, which come only from particular plots located in the propriety known as Finca El Esquilón. These wines are manufactured and bottled separately, naming wines such as La Solana, Candio, El Esquilón, El Ciruelo, Los Pasitos, Vidonia and Chibirique.
Finally, we also make two special wine elaborations so-called Suertes del Marqués Blanco Dulce and Tinto Dulce. These two are experimental lines which have been working for two years.
Why do you think it is interesting for business development to look at foreign markets?
Production depends on market demand; the particularity of the demand for those products of little-known varieties and limited, special, new areas.
They are the small productions the ones which are mostly demanded abroad.
In this sense, in Canary Islands we have major attractions as vineyards from sea level to 1400 meters high, volcanic soil, ungrafted vineyards and native varieties. All of them are what a wine consumer appreciates.
We are proud of maintaining values as distinctiveness and traditional crop as the cordón trenzado (the braided cord method) as we have vineyards up to 200 years, which keep going providing quality grapes and respect the rural landscape of the area. This is something unique about the Orotava Valley.
What projects are you performing now at the outside, in which countries and why?
The implementation of this philosophy has given very good results with the presence of our wines in about twenty five countries as Norway, United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Sweden, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, Singapore, Germany… It is also very important the Iberian Peninsula market.
What products or services you think they are the most interesting to internationalize?
From Canary Islands, all food and agricultural products made from local products which cannot be obtained elsewhere or have a special flavor.
In respect of services, those provided by professionals as engineers, architectures, etc. who, because of their worth, are able to contribute or stand out at the international level.
What problems have you faced when going outside? How did you solve them? Have you received any support?
We have planned this adventure doing our own thing. We began with the support of wine fairs and we started by Fenavin in Ciudad Real. There, we got in touch with a number of importers we came to some agreements with. After that, we participated in the programs PIPE and PIPE Seguimiento (a follow-up programme for those companies involved in PIPE) of ICEX, which helped us prospect and expand our presence abroad.
One of the problems we have had is cost, since our production, due to the characteristics of the terrain, does not allow the use of machinery and almost everything is made manually. This fact causes a higher price of grapes in comparison with other Spanish regions. Apart from this, we have to import bottles (particular models), cork and capsules, so that it means a price increase of the final product.
All of this has been solved by arguing our uniqueness such as native varieties, exclusive conduction systems, ungrafted vineyards and volcanic soils. Moreover, we manufacture wines that, fortunately, have been well received by the public and critics. This has made prices fade into the background.
Have you achieved any international goal?
Yes, we have achieved large international goals recognized by different prizes we have won along these recent years. Among others:
Firstly, we got many honors in international competitions like Mundus Vini, Bruxelles, Berliner Wein Trophy, contests we assisted until 2011. However, to be honest, their impact on sales was not important.
International specialized publications like Decanter, Noble Rot, Wine&Spirits, etc. have written about us. Apart from these, many other specialized publications in Germany, Norway and Japan have also published information about us.
In Norway, 7 Fuentes and Trenzado won the Tender (Public Contest). Our leaders 7 Fuentes (red wine) and Trenzado (white wine), both from vintage year 2014, have won their corresponding Tender in the Norwegian Vinmonopolet.
Best Spanish wine quality-price ratio according to Robert Parker in 2013.
Revelation Wine Guía Peñin 2016
Best Value Red Wine of the year 2013 according to the specialized publication elmundovino
Our wines have more than 90 points in all national and international guides like Peñín, Parker, Tanzar, Suckling, etc.
It was easy going outside, how did this experience start?
It was not easy. In 2009, when we start thinking about exporting Tenerife wines they were unknown, so people refused them or hesitated before tasting them. Now, fortunately, this negative conception has disappeared, at least, from the professional sectors we address to.
Why would you recommend going outside?
I would recommend it because in Canary Islands we have high quality products and services which can be exported. However, the “inferiority” insecurity of Canary Islands’ people creates a fear that makes they don’t face this kind of adventures. By having quality it is possible to export with guarantees.
We think it is a very enrichment experience al all levels and this makes us understand what our market position is.
Jonatan García Lima / Francisco Javier García Lima
CEOs Suertes del Marqués y SEMACA
Tel: +34 922 501 300 / +34 922 501 304
Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Web: http://www.suertesdelmarques.com/ http://www.semaca.com/
Translated by Laura Falcón Gil, 03 April 2017