The USA is discovering Catalonia through its wines

May 2016.- Seventeen Catalan wineries presented their wines and cavas to seventy American wine sector professionals in Denver (Colorado) this month, as part of the Catalan Wines USA programme organised by Catalonia Trade & Investment, the Catalan Government public agency for foreign investment attraction and Catalan business internationalisation. Organised by the Miami office of Catalonia Trade & Investment, the event allowed American importers, distributors, sommeliers and restaurant owners to taste and enjoy wines from different Catalan wineries in order to close distribution agreements aimed at introducing or increasing the presence of Catalan wine in the country. Prior to the wine-tasting, a seminar – given by Lucas Payà, ex-sommelier from the El Bulli and Jaleo restaurants – was celebrated to present the Catalan wine sector to the American professionals present.

50 wineries introduced into the United States

The event in Denver is the twentieth wine-tasting since the Catalan Wines USA programme was set up by Catalonia Trade & Investment in 2010, an initiative that provides Catalan wineries with a sales and logistics service in the United States, enabling them to enter the market and to increase their sales network.

A total of 50 Catalan wineries have been promoted – representing 10 appellations of origin – to some 4,400 American wine professionals, including importers, distributors, sommeliers, chefs and restaurant owners. Thanks to these events 72% of the wineries participating in the programme have closed distribution agreements with US businesses.

The next wine-tastings will be held in Raleigh (North Carolina), San Francisco (California) and New York (NY). Wine consumption in the US has grown by 51% over the last 18 years, reaching a total of 31 million hectolitres in 2014, while consumption has fallen in traditional wine drinking countries such as France and Italy.

The wine sector in Catalonia

Wine unites economy and culture and Catalonia’s wine sector has a very sound and competitive structure, with over 11,705 vine growers and more than 500 bottling wineries. Over 22,000 people work in the vineyards, in wineries or in the service sector. The Government of Catalonia has firmly committed itself to a quality product in order to make Catalonia the leading, top-quality producer in Spain. Nearly all Catalonia’s wine production has an Appellation of Origin status, which provides the added value of guaranteed traceability and compliance with the quality regulations.

Wine and Cava, both of which account for net sales of over €1,000M per year, make up the third largest sector in Catalonia’s food and agriculture industry. In terms of foreign trade, Catalonia exports primarily to the rest of Europe, the United States and Japan. Gastronomy is big in Catalonia with 50 restaurants having Michelin stars, thanks to a dynamic blend of tradition and innovation. The gourmet food sector is growing rapidly with consumers searching for unique, quality products. Ferran and Albert Adrià, the Roca Brothers or Carme Ruscalleda, to name just a few, put Catalonia on the worldwide culinary map.

Catalonia has been awarded the title of European Region of Gastronomy 2016.

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