Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer. @rmiguelanez
Ricardo Migueláñez.- 2014 came to an end, and it looks like things are going well for Martín Codax. How would you describe your performance last year?
Juan A. Vázquez.- After a few difficult years in Spain, due to the economic situation, the market looks like it started to recover in 2014. At the moment, we believe the crisis is behind us, and we trust that, if we remain on our path with clear objectives, we'll have the necessary conditions for the winery to enter a period of growth.
R.M.- Which lines of business are working best, the food or the distribution channel?
J.V.- In 2014, there was a small but notable recovery in the hospitality sector, especially in the second half of the year, due to sector professionals' creativity and hard work, which enabled them to weather the storm. As a result, consumption in that channel has made a considerable recovery. Additionally, there's an increasingly clear trend towards consumption of quality wines in the food channel.
R.M.- On what kinds of products does Martín Codax focus? Do you make different types of products according to wine consumers?
J.V.- Since inception, our wines have been made with customers' tastes in mind. We have young, fresh wines, for young consumers or for people in search of the essence of an Albariño, and we have more complex creations capable of meeting the expectations of more experienced consumers or people looking for new sensations. Today we continue on that path: making quality wines with a range of profiles which adapt to what each consumer is looking for.
R.M.- The global market is very complicated. What strategy are you using outside Spain?
J.V.- The international market requires a lot of time and investment. There is so much competition at present that recognition by experts and consumers isn't enough to increase demand for a product. You need human, technical and financial resources to develop the main international markets, and especially to do so with added value. In our case, that added value is our varietal wine. The Albariño grape from the Rías Baixas is a special product with singular characteristics that are exclusive to the production area, which makes our wine unique in the market with the consequent competitive advantages.
R.M.- Innovation is key for the agro-industry, but also for the wine sector. How does Martin Codax view this issue and what it is doing to further it?
J.V.- We firmly believe that R&D and innovation is vital for the development of any company and sector. In our case, we have been committed to research for years, the results of which have enabled us to deepen our understanding of the Albariño grape and use that knowledge in producing our wines. We have a 12-hectare plot, Pé Redondo, which is dedicated almost entirely to research, where we've conducted several studies on vine training, rootstock, sun exposure, vigor...We've also been engaged in other research, such as vineyard zoning, studies on aromatic precursors in the various sub-zones of the DO, etc., and we have participated in projects such as Cenit Demeter, Viñas Atlánticas and Albaroma. Moreover, to draw conclusions from our R&D, we have an experimental winery which lets our enologists see the results of their research, not only in the field, but also in the final product.
R.M.- Martín Codax is very active when it comes to capital expenditure. Are you planning any investments in or outside of your area?
J.V.- In 2015, our spending will be mainly focused on technological and logistical renovations, as we're planning on acquiring a new, cutting-edge bottling line for our installations.
R.M.- Lastly, a commitment to society is part of Martín Codax's business policy. Will you continue on that same path in 2015? Is there any news in this regard?
J.V.- Without a doubt, the winery will maintain that commitment in 2015. We are a cooperative comprising close to 300 associates and we work with approximately 600 families in the Salnés Valley, with the result that a commitment to the community and our environment is one of our defining features. As in previous years, there will be new initiatives in 2015, which will be announced in the future.