If that was not enough food for the day, dinner awaited, this time with officials from the department of agriculture and tourism. It was held at Casa Montal restaurant, an ancient renaissance palace with Moorish archways. The bottom floor is a fine wine store and below that is a gallery for art related to the leaning tower of Zaragosta that was torn down in the late 19th century. You can see—and buy—prints, and even photographs. The clock of the leaning tower is also for sale here (at least, you can make an offer) with its inner workings fashioned into a display trolley. In the square outside the restaurant, a statue of a young boy looks up at the empty space where the leaning tower once stood. During dinner, we enjoyed various courses of delicious cuisine paired with more of San Valero Winery’s wines.
During the formal tasting of all their wines, I appreciated and valued the Group BSV philosophy, which was to listen to the market (specifically, their customers) and make wine people want to drink.
This is crucial to understand. In many wine regions, people buy land, hire a winemaker, and make wine to suit their personal palate. Or they make wine in the same way their families have been making wine for generation, and sell to the same markets year after year.
Australia changed things over ten years ago when it created a mandate to be one of the biggest producers and exporters, and in a step towards that goal, decided to find out what the market demanded first and then produce the wine. That has been the story of Yellow Tail and other popular brands.
I have no idea if Groupo BSV used Australia as a model, but today I also discovered that they make wine to suit the demands of clients, and that they have clients all over the world with different specifications for the style of the wine, and the price point. If I understand the Groupo BSV correctly, a supermarket client may come to them and say they want a light, fruity wine that would cost the end consumer two Euros and would cost the supermarket one Euro to buy. I got the sense that the client had a good sense of his or her market, including the style of wine the consumer demanded and the price the consumer would pay.
In the course of the tasting, we tried Groupo BSV’s many styles of wines, mostly garnacha in various forms (unoaked, oaked, light and fruity, more substantial with higher alcohol) but also syrah and tempranillo and some expensive new styles of wine, aged in French oak, that the company is trying to market. Joining us for the tasting was a Spanish wine writer for the respected Heraldo newspaper in nearby Zaragosta.