9th Annual Spanish Wine Cellar Reinvents Wineries-Seeking-Importers Events Innovative New Tool Used to Match Interests of Wineries and Importers

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New York, NY (June 11, 2014)—Nearly 100 trade members came together yesterday to sample the offerings from 26 wineries at the 9th Annual Spanish Wine Cellar, hosted by Wines from Spain. Held at Tom Collichio’s Riverpark Restaurant in the Alexandria Center in NYC, producers showcased wines from 18 regions throughout Spain to a atop tier group of importers, distributors, sommeliers and retailers. The day kicked off with a new addition to the annual tasting—The ImporterConnect Matchmaking Event—that paired importers with wineries through a proprietary matching system created by Brand Action Team.

“Spanish wines are a rapidly growing category in the U.S., and we believe it to be a result of the incredible quality coming from our country, as well as the dramatic shift of the American wine drinker toward exploration and trial,” remarked Spain’s Trade Commissioner. “This demand on our wines has opened the door to entry for many more Spanish producers who are crafting some of the best wines in the world. The Spanish Wine Cellar provides a platform on which US wine importers seeking to start or expand their Spanish portfolio can meet and interact with these wineries in an intimate and convenient setting.”

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Spain has now become the second largest wine producer in the world, and Spanish wine imports into the U.S. are showing tremendous growth: 12% in volume and 8% in value per Nielsen. Though the category is growing, wineries still face a major challenge to get the attention of prospective importers. Wines from Spain enlisted Brand Action Team to implement an innovative system of pairing wineries with importers based on database matching of relevant interests. According to Katrin Naelapaa, Director of Wines from Spain, “The system is based on ImporterConnect which is a comprehensive database of active U.S. wine and spirit importers. The database was enhanced with detailed profiles of the wineries and importers. This data was then used to match suppliers and importers based on their expressed needs and interests.”

“In addition to the matching, we invested a lot of time and energy to educate the suppliers on the complexities of the U.S. market through a custom webinar, supplemented with individual consultations with each of the wineries” said Steve Raye, Managing Partner of Brand Action Team and creator of the ImporterConnect system. “The net result is that Wines from Spain’s Spanish Wine Cellar program has become a precedent-setting, and more efficient and effective system to connecting importers and suppliers.

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The ImporterConnect matchmaking event took place from 10:30-12:30 at Riverpark Restaurant, with the walk-around tasting following at 1PM. The selection of wines presented at the SWC represented 18 regions: well-known D.O.s such as Cava, Rías Baixas, Ribera del Duero, Rioja, and La Mancha; and lesser-known ones such as the Canary Islands, Gigales, Utiel-Requena and Rueda. Food was provided by Riverpark and included a selection of Spanish cheeses, charcuterie and tapas.

Brand Action Team is GK Tribe Global partner experts in the beverage industry.
Amber Gallaty,

* Source: Nielsen, 52-weeks period ending January 2014

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