Please remember to approach the world of wine responsibly
I'm ashamed to say that Winefullness Magazine hasn't really covered Spanish wine since it began. We've tasted plenty of course, but how can we have left them alone when the range of what is out there is an exciting plethora of variety and price. We've missed out writing articles that call on Cava, probe Priorat or rate Rioja highly, well that stops here! We're a magazine who will admit when we're wrong, and over the next couple of issues we're hoping to change this by exploring what makes the beautiful wines of this beautiful country a joy to taste. The person we have to thank for this to a chap named Vladimir Davydkin, the marketing manager of the APPVE Association in Spain, who got in touch and was eager that I should find out more about the APPVE and the small producers of Spain.
WINEFULLNESS: 'Tell me all about what Appve Spanish Wineries represents?'
VLADIMIR: 'The APPVE, Small Spanish Wineries Association, was created as an ambassador of quality wines, to promote them worldwide and introduce into the international markets. Together in such difficult times, uniting our efforts it´s easier to act.
'We love our land, and cooperate with the companies that share our passion for wines and Spanish land. Our boutique wineries represent all the main regions: Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Rias Baixas, Priorat, Montsant, Rueda, Terra Alta, Tierra de Castilla, Malaga, Jerez. You can see our wines in the social media: facebook.com/appve.es and instagram.com/appve.es'
WINEFULLNESS: 'How has the harvest in Spain shaped up?'
VLADIMIR: 'We are having a good harvest. We had a rainy spring and not very hot summer. The vendimia (grape picking) is in full swing now.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Which is the easiest Spanish wine region to promote and why?'
VLADIMIR: 'The Rioja is the easiest wine region to promote in every country, because it´s already a worldwide recognized brand. But now more and more people know such DO regions as Ribera del Duero and Priorat.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What were your first wine memories?
VLADIMIR: 'I would remember the Rioja of Reserva Category with bright oak notes. It was much time ago.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Are wine writers important to the industry or do they get in the way?'
VLADIMIR: 'The wine writers have a very important educational and promotional mission. You are as much an integral part of the wine world as the wine-makers, wine-lovers and the consumers.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Is there one question that you wish I’d have asked you, and how would you answer it?
VLADIMIR: 'You should have asked me, "When can I come to Spain to visit your wineries (bodegas)?". You are always welcome in Spain. Thank for your questions and interest towards the Spanish wines.'
A Few to Try
Beaulieu Vineyard, George De Latour, Napa Valley 2015 - Great wine, youthful 5/7
'Together in such difficult times, uniting our efforts it's easier to act.'
'The centre of Wine Country is between the 5th and 6th chairs of my dining room table when my whole family is over.'
Diamond Creek Vineyards, Red Rock Terrace, Napa Valley 2016 - Lovely colour, integrity on the nose, Fruit forward 6/7
Long Meadow Ranch, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley 2016 - Lovely Clarity, Great Pinot 5/7
Chateau de la Cree, 1er Cru Clos Faubard, Santenay, Burgundy - Lovely with beautiful clarity.
DAOU Soul of a Lion, Adelaida District, Paso Robles 2016 - Glorious colour, smooth nose, lovely integration, excellent dark fruit 6/7
Cain Concept, The Benchland, Napa Valley 2010 - Beautiful nose, fruit just jumps out of the glass. 5/7
bout it. 5/7
Familia Torres, Salmos, Priorat, Spain 2016 - So integrated. Great wine. 6/7
Muga, Prado Enea, Rioja Gran Reserva 2011 - Glorious colour, lovely oak profile, smokey nose. 5/7
Champagne Philipponnat, Blanc de Noirs Extra Brut, Champagne 2012 - Wonderful nose, Excellent, lovely use of Pinot. 6/7
APPVE Spanish Wineries
Take the Spanish Stroll
Picking up those good vibrations
photographs by Christopher D Thompson
What says so much to me about Sam Neill and Two Paddocks is the way they refused the offer of free advertising and instead asked me to mention the following:
Their suppliers - Haynes, Hanson & Clark, Field & Fawcett & The Specialist Wine Cellar
Winefullness Magazine is more than happy to do this and also want to wish Two Paddock & Sam all the best at this difficult time.
WINEFULLNESS: Who in the world of wine inspires you and why?'
VLADIMIR: 'I am personally inspired by our wine-makers, one can´t love his motherland more than the owners of our bodegas. Their professionalism, total involvement into the process, fanaticism in a positive meaning of this world and a careful attitude to the nature are amazing.'
WINEFULLNESS MAGAZINE: 'Where is the hidden gem of Spanish wine?'
VLADIMIR DAVYDKIN: 'The hidden gem is a unique climate and the people that loves this land, respect the centenary traditions, but meanwhile dare to apply innovations.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Which five wines would you recommend to somebody who wants something different from Spanish wines than Rioja or Cava?'
VLADIMIR: 'I wouldn´t recommend only 5 wines. Spanish land is rich in its indigenous grapes, I would suggest the wine-lovers to explore them and don´t be shy to experiment in combining them with the Spanish cuisine: Mencia, Graciano, Bobal, Albariño, Verdejo, Garnacha (Grenache), Pedro Xímenez, Palomino Fino, Moscatel de Alejandría, etc.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'With the continuation of Covid 19 has the job of promoting Spanish wines become difficult?'
VLADIMIR: 'As in another business areas, we became more "digitalized" and the communication with partners became more on line and zoomed. But the logistic chains didn´t change.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Is it possible to make an artistic wine at a low price?'
VLADIMIR: 'I think a good artistic wine requires more efforts, attention and time than a mass-market product, so, by default, it can't be positioned in a low-cost segment.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What do you feel is the latest innovation in the Spanish wine industry?
VLADIMIR: 'Many Spanish Wineries, including our Association members, stake on the ecological and sustainable production methods. We follow the world trend in this meaning.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Is there a wine that you used to love but that you don’t like now?'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What is the biggest myth about Spanish wine?'
VLADIMIR: 'That Spanish Wine is an oak-based, cheap product. It´s totally wrong and if you just look and try the huge number of Spanish Wines from different regions everyone can discover the hidden diamonds.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Is there a person who stands out as a leader among the Spanish wine community?'
VLADIMIR: 'Inside our Association there are well-known enologists, some of them recognized by Robert Parker, but I wouldn´t point out the names so not to offend other our wine-makers.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Why are the general public only now discovering Priorat?'
VLADIMIR: 'Because the wine lovers are conservative by its nature and it takes time to start "loving" a region.
'Some years ago Robert Parker paid attention to Priorat. It elevated its popularity many times, but, as usually happens, it led to the logical price increasing. Some experts consider it´s the most fashionable and trendy wine region of Spain right now.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Do you feel that Brexit will have an affect on Spanish wine in the United Kingdom?'
VLADIMIR: 'At the moment it´s hard to preview the effects of Brexit, let´s see further. But it's evident that the British people won´t stop drinking and appreciating Spanish wines.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'It was reported a year ago that the bodegas of Jerez were being sold and that Sherry had lost popularity. Do you feel that Sherry is perceived as an old person’s wine?'
VLADIMIR: 'We see the new birth of Sherry wines. In part, because of the good marketing strategies of DO Jerez and indeed it´s based on the wakening of interest between millenials. It´s getting more and more popular among young consumers.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What was the biggest setback in the history of the Spanish wine industry?'
VLADIMIR: 'The direct wine competition of Spain is Italy. I think that in some period of the 20th century, in 70s-80s decades, Italy won the "advertising war" against Spain. And only now has Spain been revealed to the whole world as one of the wine empires. A fact backed by the popularity of Spanish cuisine.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'There used to be links between the winemakers of Bordeaux and Spanish winemakers, but recently Spanish wine imports into France have been disrupted. How do you combat this?'
VLADIMIR: 'France is used to consuming its own product, it´s hard to combat this reality. Anyway, we are sure that Spain, with new artisnal wines and fresh interesting samples of indigenous grapes, has much to offer, not only to France, but in other traditional European markets.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What is your guilty pleasure?'
VLADIMIR: 'I can't distinguish one wine or a region as is the case with the "stars" of our Association, not to offend anyone. I just can say that personally prefer the full-bodied red wines.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'What is your favourite restaurant and what do you usually order to eat and drink?'
VLADIMIR: 'There are many very good restaurants in Barcelona, but I can point out the Velódromo Tapas Bar in Muntaner Street and the Tragaluz restaurant by the Paseo de Gracia. Seefood tapas with Albariño or a good steak with a strong red always goes well for any case, business meeting or a romantic date.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Do British tourists on the coast really explore what Spanish wine has to offer, and if they don’t how would you change it?'
VLADIMIR: 'I think that at the moment British tourists don't use all the wine opportunities they have, preferring the beach relaxing. But, when the world overcomes the Covid crisis, the Spanish enotourism is a very important business to be developed.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Which area of the wine world, besides Spain, do you most enjoy visiting?'
VLADIMIR: 'The North of Italy and Cote d'Azur of France.'
WINEFULLNESS: 'Who should I next interview and why?'
VLADIMIR: 'I think it would be interesting to interview one of our wine-makers, it depends on what wine region is most interesting for you and your readers.'
'I think a good artistic wine requires more effort, attention and time...'
This interview confirms a lot that I've read, seen and tasted when it comes to the Spanish wine industry. It is a dynamic operation that has changed the idea that Spanish wine is some cheap off-shoot of the respected world of wine. Massive strides are constantly being made by the producers, and if you cannot find a wine in Spain that is complex, beautiful and nurtured, then you are not looking hard enough.
From Rias Baixas to Rioja, from Godello to Monastrell there are sophisticated wines in abundance for all palates and all pockets, and it is this competitively priced quality that has helped the Spanish wine community to flourish and become as respected as it is. The wineries that are represented by the APPVE association are there to be discovered and explored for their variety, and also because they form the sort of backbone where today's experiments become tomorrow's norms.
Once the present beastly nastiness has gone away I will taking Vladimir up on his invitation. I know that there is so much exciting wine to be discovered and I can't do it just be sitting here!
APPVE Spanish Wineries
Taking The Spanish Stroll