What is a good wine?
From a technical point of view, a good wine is one that meets the parameters established by law or by quality standards, and lacks any type of defects.
It is the oenologist who sets the quality standard for a winery’s production and guarantees this year to year. However, standards evolve and give way to new oenological practices, the incorporation of new varieties or different mixing percentages. In this sense, a good wine of today is not the same as a good wine of yesterday, nor will it be the same as a good wine of tomorrow.
From the market point of view, a wine is a good wine when it has an optimal cost-benefit ratio. However, the criteria of the consumer are constantly evolving, as the consumer is learning at the same speed with which the market develops. In addition, consumer criteria are strongly influenced by one social factor: opinion.
A wine’s value is not stable and it therefore requires continual updating. Only serious oenomarketing work will create the required perception of value by the consumer.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES FOR SPANISH WINERIES TODAY?
The first challenge is the professional approach. Each member of the team must contribute decisively to the business plan and for this task they would need specific training.
The second challenge is the search for excellence, which will guarantee quality ratios superior to those of the competition. The search for excellence will imply having experienced it, knowing it inside out. Excellence is the best vaccine against conformity (very Spanish) and will only disconcert those who do prefer to conform.
The third challenge is the constant redefinition of the wine’s value. Each process, each context, each story adds a singular and essential value to the wine. The winery must perceive this value and contribute to discovering and adding new value every day. In this task, oenomarketing will be decisive.
The fourth challenge is the search for knowledge, not the search for artificial recognition. The winery must search for, must find, and must create a credible and honest discourse, capable of being condensed into various channels. It must also find a way of reaching out to local influencers.
The fifth challenge is self-sufficiency, achieving widespread and sustained growth in order for wineries not to be dependent on certain clients and operations. The pandemic has exposed this common weakness within the sector. The search for self-sufficiency will mean creating a business plan with a geographical dimension and a division of channels.
The sixth and final challenge will be business consolidation, ensuring that the financial situation does not affect the quality of the product or its marketing.
HOW SHOULD WINERIES PREPARE FOR THE END OF THE CRISIS?
By improving the processes that allow added value to be generated from viticulture itself, the elaboration and the creation of the finished product.
By searching for excellence as a dynamic that revitalises all the business mechanisms of the winery. Only by aspiring to the highest quality, with better traceability systems and purification of processes, etc., will the standards demanded by the market be achieved.
By restructuring its teams, strengthening the ties that bind them, and significantly increasing the commitment of each and every one of its members to the brand. In this respect, continuous training of sales representatives and investment in resources for market access will also be important.
Creating a constant sense of urgency – even during the calm – because only then will it be possible to be prepared for future contingencies.
By taking seriously its commitment to global demands for responsibility in different areas (environmental responsibility, consumer health, etc.).
By opening up to the digital world, which will not only contribute to improving the management and operation of the winery, but will also allow us to be present in the new landscape of communication and marketing in the online world.
By allocating financial resources comparable to the investment in the winery in order to achieve a business plan that reaches all the objectives set, irrespective of access or not to grants or subsidies.
By incorporating the word innovation to each of the production processes.
By investing and mobilizing resources to improve communication and positioning in a market which we imagine will be saturated with quality products.
By looking for new clients, those who have been impossible to access, or those who up until now have been under the radar.