Carlos Moro, founder and president of Bodega Matarromera received this week the Mapfre Foundation award for the best ‘Initiative in the agricultural sector’ thanks to the winery group’s investment in R&D. An investment that is part of their DNA and that led them years ago to launch Win, a wine without alcohol produced in Bodega Win, in Valbuena de Duero (Valladolid). This drink has now become an international success and the veteran entrepreneur has high hopes for its evolution.
In his opinion, “non-alcoholic wine in society and in the winery is growing and we hope that in the future it will bill more than the rest of the wineries”he assures in an interview with EL ESPAÑOL-Invertia.
And he thinks so because “it is a product that has a wide spectrum and is more open to all moments of consumption”. Among them stands out groups that cannot drink wine or minors, young people who want to enter the world of wine and even to carry out trafficking campaigns with the DGT.
Internationally it sells a lot. It is present in Whole Foodsthe chain specializing in organic products that bought Jeff Bezos (Amazon) and that has more than 400 establishments. They also sell it in the United Kingdom, Ireland, China, Australia…
And in Spain it is in large surfaces and increasingly in specialized wine bars. In fact, they supply the Buddhist monastery in Catalonia. But it is true that Carlos Moro remembers that it is still a somewhat unknown drink. In fact, he reveals that the former mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella -who was also collecting an award- did not know him. “And that she has come to the winery with her husband (José María Aznar)”, she says.
Is then non-alcoholic wine the future of wine? For this question, Carlos Moro is clear: “No, but it is a line for the future.” He believes that the future will continue to be in traditional wines. In fact, at the moment, sales of non-alcoholic wine are still small.
In addition to these innovations, Carlos Moro continues to be a restless businessman. So much so that he recently premiered, after five years of work and stoppages due to the pandemic, the Carlos Moro Winery in San Vicente de la Sonsierra, in the heart of the Rioja Alta.
In the summer he acquired Sanclodio, the mythical winery that belonged to the film director and producer, José Luis Cuerda, in the DO Ribeiro. This winery is added to the one it already has in the area, Casar de Vide.
The two maintain the collaboration agreement that began more than five years ago with wine growers in the area to produce CM Finca Viña Tenencia, one of the estate wines that they produce under their personal brand.
With this, Carlos Moro intends to return Ribeiro to its splendor now that it begins to have more relevance. “It was one of the first three Denominations of Origin in Spain, along with Jerez and Rioja,” he points out. And he adds: “In the conquest of America it was one of the wines that went to the new continent together with Toro and was very successful in the 50s and 60s.”
It currently has ten wineries in six DO. Will there be a new purchase or a new assault on another DO? “Yes, we will continue to expand and there is a project that will see the light of day in the coming months”, get moving. However, you can read this far because you prefer not to reveal the new project yet.
Before that happens will travel to Mexico and then to Guatemala. So that? To continue selling their wines, because “the work does not end in a winery when the wine is made”. And that in the 80 countries in which they are present in Mexico they are leaders. Also in Guatemala and Puerto Rico. “In China we are doing very well, but the pandemic has twisted things a bit”details.
In the case of Matarromera, the Covid forced them to redo the strategy. “We focus on trade on-line, individuals and new food channels and thanks to that we have a reduced impact of less than 10% that was more than recovered in 2021”, he assures. In these months they maintain good figures for tourism and expect a fairly regular Christmas campaign.
All this despite inflation that has triggered its costs. “This year is very complicated because we have had an increase in supplies, with rises of 30% or 40%,” he says. In the case of energy, the increase has been 400%.
But with a fixed price policy they are aware that “it will affect our margins and yields and we have to bet as much as possible without harming end consumers.”
The other big blow to the sector has been this year’s drought, which has forced harvests to be brought forward and has reduced the production of its wines. In Ribera del Duero and Cigales, for example, it has been between 20% and 40% lower than usual. “The production is 2,000 kilos per hectare, but the quality is fantastic”sentence.
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Carlos Moro, the promoter of non-alcoholic wine that triumphs in Jeff Bezos’ super