Winery La Geria: Exporting volcanic lava wines

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Winery La Geria manufactures, produces and distributes Lanzarote appellation of origin wines. It is the oldest winery in the most important viticulture area in Lanzarote island, and it is also one of the oldest in the whole island. Located in the core of La Geria natural area the winey contributes to the maintenance and preservation of the area. Its singular and unique in the world grape cultivation technique, in which the vines are rooted in holes dug in the blackish volcanic soil, offers a wonderful landscape that makes the winery the fourth tourist leading destination of the island.  It is one of the most visited wineries in Spain, having an average of 300,000 visitors each year.

"..., selling out our wines from Canary islands is complex and expensive. Entering into foreign markets involve specific requirements you have to adapt to. But we have been tenacious and we are starting to reap the benefits"

What is currently the main activity of the company?

Manufacturing, producing and distributing our Lanzarote appellation of origin wines.

We are currently producing three brands.  Under La Geria brand, using the Malvasía Volcánica grape variety, we produce our dry, medium-dry and sweet wines. With the Listán Negro grape variety we produce our red and rose wines, and with the Moscatel de Alejandría variety we produce our sweet moscatel. We also produce a limited edition of wines under the brand Manto, in which we use the Malvasía Volcanica for both the dry (15,000 bottles) and the medium-dry (5,000 bottles) wines; we also use a mix of grape varieties, namely Syrah Melot, Tintilla, and of course, Listán Negro. Finally, under our brand Antigua (Ancient) we produce, as its name suggest,  the oldest and most vintage wines of the winery: a sweet 2005 Malvasía Volcánica, and the crown jewel of our winery: a sweet 1996 moscatel. All these wines are grown, harvested and produced using traditional and manual labor techniques.

Why do you find interesting looking into foreign markets for business developing?

It is always interesting to have other markets where we can sell our wines, aside from the canarian market. Some years we sell all our production in the canarian market, but some years we don´t, so we believe it is a good idea to be present in other markets.  By spreading out and being better known overseas we can strengthen our brand.

What projects are you currently carrying out overseas? In which countries and why?

Our main market is the national one, but the international one is gaining strength thanks to our business system based on electronic commerce.

We are mainly doing research, and we also try to support our international distributors. It is good to have a direct and personal relationship with our distributors, and to support them so they feel more engaged when selling our wines in target countries. The external network must be looked after and encouraged.

Currently we are doing researches in Croatia and Slovenia because they are economically booming countries where wine consumption is increasing.

What products or services you find more attractive for internationalization?

All wines in our range of varieties are valued and highly regarded overseas.  The singularities of the farming, the harvesting, the production, the volcanic soil, etc, give an extremely high quality to the end product that allows it to be sold as gourmet wine.

What problems have you encountered when trying to expand abroad? How did you solve them? Have you got any support?

What we find more expensive is to operate outside of the island. Being one of the smallerst Canary islands makes the extra costs of living in an island doubled. Attending to trade fairs and visiting potential distributor in situ makes the whole process of internationalization more expensive.  

This is a problem we have addressed by allocating company financial items and trying to get support from public entities.

Having access to lists of entities supporting internationalization makes much easier to find the right point of contact for the internationalization of our wines.

We have received support from ICEX and we hope to get more through Proexca.

Have you accomplished any international achievement?

Our main achievement has been to enter into the Chinese market. Thanks to quantity but mainly thanks to quality.  Regarding wines of such high quality as our, the selling price is not so important. The bureaucracy and non bureaucracy barriers we found have been very important.  Getting access to a good and reliable distribuitor is the key for an adequate distribution. Raising our company awareness (corporate video) is very important for commercialization because Canary islands are not well known is such distant markets.

Was it easy to become internationalized? How did your experience begin?

No way, selling out our wines from Canary islands is complex and expensive. Entering into foreign markets involve specific requirements you have to adapt to. But we have been tenacious and we are starting to reap the benefits.  It is a matter of establishing objectives and being steadfast to get results.

Why would you recommend internationalization?

We believe that having different markets from where selling our wines is beneficial so we don’t rely on just one market which may fail.  Besides, the prestige that can be obtained by selling in different parts of the world is important to raise the value of our brand.

Darío Rodríguez

Responsable del Departamento Comercial de Bodega La Geria

Tel: +34 635 584 061



Translated by  Daniel Palacios Martínez,  February  27 th 2018


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