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Spanish producers look for vineyards in emerging areas

Published:  29 June, 2011

Two top Spanish producers are capitalising on Spain's growing momentum by buying new vineyards in up and coming areas.

Felíx Solís is looking to acquire land in Penedès, so that it can begin producing a Cava to complete its range, while González Byass has listed the Rías Baixas area as a priority.

Felíx Solís Ramos, the firm's export director, told Harpers it needed to buy a facility with a 10-15 million litre capacity, which he said was "quite big for the region". He said the firm would either build its own winery or acquire an existing business.

The company owns the popular Viña Albali brand, and has recently launched wines from Ribera del Duero, Bajoz in Toro and La Mancha. "We're now trying to deepen the range and extend the offer," said Solís Ramos.

It is also focusing more efforts on the on-trade. "Not very many big wineries are making that distinction [between on and off-trade], we have a very detailed approach," he added. Its wines are distributed through Free Run in the UK.

González Byass's vice president Pedro Rebuelta González said the company is looking at properties in Rías Baixas, Ribera del Duero and Rueda. He said it was actively looking for a brand that would fit in its portfolio.

González Byass is also focused on building a bigger presence in the UK on-trade, Rebuelta González said it was still "very well-positioned on sherry" and wanted to focus more on wine.

But he also believes that now is a real opportunity for sherry. "We have lost a generation of drinkers who didn't want to drink the same thing as their mothers and grandmothers. But now we have a completely new generation who are open to new foods and different wines."