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Zorita brand extends to food and a village

United Wineries is extending its Hacienda Zorita brand to cover a chain of restaurants in the UK and Europe as well as Spain’s first Albergo Diffuso.

“We want to be the first lifestyle brand from Spain,” said Victor Redondo Sierra, president of Spanish wine and hospitality operation, speaking to the drinks business during an interview at the company’s London headquarters last month.

The name Hacienda Zorita stems from the group’s first hotel, which is situated just outside Salamanca and was opened in 2001 as part of United Wineries’ Haciendas de Espana project.

This later spawned a selection of wines from the Duero Valley, and a small range of Spanish foods and olive oils under the Hacienda Zorita brand.

In June this year the brand will be further augmented by the Hacienda Zorita Albergo Diffuso, a village which doubles as a hotel, inspired by Italy’s redevelopment of half-abandoned towns using empty buildings as guest rooms.

To achieve this, Victor has takon on the historic but neglected Villa de Ledesma village just 20km from the original Hacienda Zorita, and spent €12 million acquiring and converting the buildings, along with a further €3.7m government grant to restore the pavements and lighting.

Outside the Duero Valley, Victor is planning to create a chain of eateries called Zorita’s Kitchen, a concept currently found in London under United Wineries’ office overlooking the river Thames at Blackfriars.

Speaking of the restaurants, Victor explained, “I’m looking at two further venues in London for this year and I hope to have 30 across Europe and the UK within the next five years.”

Concluding on this concept, he said, “We are taking a chunk of Hacienda Zorita into the major cities of Europe.”

For more on United Wineries and Victor Redondo Sierra’s plans for a Spanish lifestyle brand, see the April edition of the drinks business, out this week.

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