Araex launches global organic wine brand with Michel Rolland

Spanish wine group Araex plans to create the benchmark organic wine brand from Spain with French consultant Michel Rolland as it forecasts a huge increase in demand for organic products.

Michel Rolland and Javier Galarreta are already working together with the ‘R&G’ Spanish wine brand, which uses grapes from Rueda, Ribera del Duero and Rioja

Launched at Vinexpo Bordeaux last month as a 100% certified organic wine, the Gran Sello brand from Castilla-La Mancha has been created to be “the reference for organic wine production in Spain,” according to Javier Galarreta, president of Araex, the group that owns the brand, along with a range of high-profile wineries across Spain.

Speaking further about Gran Sello’s new position as a brand for 100% certified wine and grapes, he said that he wanted take organic wine up market.

“Our aim is not to be the largest organic wine, but we want to add a premium wine to the organic category, which does not exist until now,” he said.

The Gran Sello brand was launched in 2010 using fruit from high altitude vineyards in Castilla-La Mancha, but is being re-launched as an organic only wine brand

He also told db that “Spain is the largest producer of organic wine in the world”, but, until his launch of the repositioned Gran Sello label, “no-one has developed an organic-only wine brand.”

As for why he has decided to create a brand just for organic wine, he said that he foresees a large increase in demand for organic goods, particularly from the US.

“I believe there is a demand from a number of consumers to buy just organic products – and we see such a demand in the US market,” he commented.

Although Araex launched the Gran Sello brand in 2010 using fruit from high altitude vineyards in Castilla-La Mancha, it has re-launched the label as a brand just for organic wine, initially in response to a request from a US distributor for an organic wine from Spain.

Galarreta said that he had chosen the brand to represent their organic wine production from Spain because Gran Sello – meaning ‘great seal’ – could be used to refer to the certification of the Araex vineyards and winery in Castilla La Mancha.

Despite the initial demand for the new organic wine brand coming from the US, Galarreta assured that Gran Sello would be a “global organic wine brand”.

He also said that he saw even greater potential for organic produce since Amazon bought Whole Foods, a grocery brand for organic goods.

Currently, he said that Araex has produced around 200,000 bottles of organic red wine from the 2015 vintage, and, due to adverse climatic conditions in the following year, half that quantity in 2016.

The wine, which is produced with the guidance of wine consultant Michel Rolland, comes from 170 hectares of certified organic vineyards from around Toledo, 80ha of which are owned outright by Araex.

He also noted that these vineyards were situated 750m above sea level, ensuring cool night-time temperatures, which slow the maturation of the grapes in the hot La Mancha wine region.

Although just 350mm of rain falls in the area on average, he said that the vines, which are 25 years old, aren’t irrigated.

Currently, the brand is using organically-grown Syrah, Tempranillo and Garnacha to make the wines, and in the future, an organic Chardonnay will be added to the range.

The wines will retail for around US$15 in the US.

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One Response to “Araex launches global organic wine brand with Michel Rolland”

  1. Erik Burgess says:

    He also told db that “Spain is the largest producer of organic wine in the world”, but, until his launch of the repositioned Gran Sello label, “no-one has developed an organic-only wine brand.”

    Bodegas Robles from Montilla in the DO Montilla-Moriles has certainly developed it’s own organic-only wine brand, Piedra Luenga long before this development.
    If you click on the link all the Piedra Luenga wines are organic.

    http://www.bodegasrobles.es/vinos/?lang=en

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