03 Mar Wines and wine tours in Priorat: how to merge product and service
My special gift for you: a DOQ Priorat vineyard
Celler Devinssi is a small artisan winery located in Gratallops, DOQ Priorat. Josep Roca, its owner and winemaker keeps looking for ways how to reach the wine-lover audience. Today, we’re with Josep to learn about his project of grapevine adoption in his Priorat vineyards.
Where does the “adopted” wine come from?
In fact, the estate where the grapevine adoptions started has its own very peculiar story. It’s an old Samsó (Carignan) slope that is over 80 years old. It had gone through a few years of abandon when I started farming it, so the first item on the agenda involved recovering it. I bet on the quality of the old vines then, which eventually proved that care pays with good yield. Those old grapevines have deep roots and know how to withstand strenuously such rugged sultry climate like in Priorat. Moreover, three years ago the DOQ Priorat regulatory board approved the creation of a zone map of village wines with the purpose of highlighting wines coming from old vineyards and vinified in each exact municipal area. It was thrilling to find our recovered vineyard included in that map. However, all our vineyards are part of the grapevine adoption project.
Well, the year 2000 saw the outset of this journey. We wanted to offer our DOQ Priorat wines and wine tours at a different perspective. In many cultures, wines accompany the moments of joy, celebration with family and friends. This beverage is associated with pleasure and positive emotions. So it sounds like a very appropriate gift. A wine dealer knows, for instance, what Christmas campaign is, or what paths their loyal patrons explore when a relative’s birthday is coming round the bend. That’s why the grapevine adoption is a gift. However, it isn’t just wine. There’s some value added in it.
For example, it includes a monthly newsletter that we send to the adopter: it features an updated picture of the vineyard and an explanation of how the plants’ lives have been evolving. Whether they were pruned, fertilised, or harvested… the winery news, whatever related to wine tours. Clearly, the gift includes a visit to the vineyard for two persons.
So the adopters receive the gift, which is a case of wine + a newsletter + a wine tour…?
Yes, a visit to the winery and the vineyard. Easy to guess, when they come over here, they want to see the vineyard; they take pictures with the adopted vines…
There you go. We consider it’s important that the adopter, who sometimes lives thousands miles away from here, receive a maximally tailor-made product/service. When they’re on the wine tour, we don’t tell them “whatever of these is yours”, no way. So the adopter always knows the number of the vine and receives its pictures in the first message. Plus, the adopter card tells you the number of your plant.
Which means they have an ID? Sounds like sort of a club?
Correct. All three adoption formulas start with a small box that contains a certificate (adopter ID), an outline of adopter mission, and a piece of slate stone, which is ubiquitous in Priorat vineyards. The case of wine can be sent either immediately (if the presenter wants to give the wines together with the box), or afterwards. And not so few are those adopters who come over to pick their case of wine here in Gratallops. Thus they get to know the region and visit the vineyards.
There are three formulas, how do they compare?
It depends on the wines included in the gift, which results in different prices. The formula A, for example, includes one bottle of “Rocapoll”, a Gratallops village wine, that comes from the old recovered vineyard, plus five bottles of “Il·lia”, the wine that saw the setup of my project called Celler Devinssi back in 2000.
And whereabouts do vine adopters live?
We launched the project at the local market first, here in Catalonia, and afterwards, new people appeared from many places in Europe: Germany, France, Belgium, Russia… The club’s growing. This means that our project will keep evolving. I have plenty of ideas in this respect. Actually, I think that both human creativity and the potential of such exclusive winemaking region like Priorat are vital when it comes to reaching your end consumer.
Translated from Catalan. Original: Infovi.cat