Sommelier sessions with Javier Ruiz de Galarreta

15 Feb 2016
2 min read
FOUR caught up with Javier Ruiz de Galarreta, President, Founder and CEO of ARAEX Rioja Alavesa & Spanish Fine Wines, a group of independent wineries…

How did Araex come about?

Twenty years ago, we decided that everyone, no matter where in the world, should be able to try our wi­nes. And so we sent them to travel the world. The aim was to spread the message of quality and innovation, a vision of the future and trust in a great product: Spain’s premium wines.

Drop by drop, these wines represent the best from eight of the most important denominations of origin in Spain. They embody our efforts and commitment as well as those of our wineries; the daily quest for quality and excellence and a desire that the rest of the world enjoys our wines. Real pleasure only happens when it is shared.

When we started, back in 1993, we were a group of wineries from Rioja Ala­vesa, one of the most iconic wine areas in Spain and one that has always been very close to us.

Step by step, ARAEX managed to ex­port 1.16 bottles out of every 5 that were sent abroad from Rioja Alavesa. That fi­gure represented 21.6% of the total ex­ports from this area in 2011. Always on the move, our wines were soon present in 70 countries around the world.

And the story continued.

So how were the Spanish Fine Wines created?

In 2001, and as a complement to our ARAEX brand, we decided to create Spa­nish Fine Wines. That’s how we became the first Spanish Group of Independent Wineries. It was a great idea. It allowed us to incorporate other prestigious De­nominations of Origin and gave us ac­cess to the specialist channels. We leapt forward and reached a sales volume of over 10.5 million bottles of premium wine.

That is how we arrived at the present day.

So what are you up to now?

So now, twenty years later, we launch The Grand Wines, anew corporate identity that embo­dies all of our brands. A concept that re­news our commitment to innovation and the environment. Over the last years, we have pioneered projects such as the implementation of a product carbon foo­tprint standard, a system to control his­tamines during the winemaking process, and the adoption of precision viticulture techniques within a European initiative known as Cenit Demeter.

The Grand Wines is also an important opportunity to grow with new projects and products. Cava, Vinos de la Tierra (quality wines) and the international Brand R&G; prestigious wines we have created with the renowned oenologist Michel Rolland.

All in all, we have launched a series of initiatives to improve our activity and to keep being on the move, now with re­newed energy.

And what’s to come at Araex?

We are at a decisive moment. Ahead of us is an exciting period, full of opportunities and challenges. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. That is the challenge of the Araex & Spanish Fine Wines team and of the wi­neries in the Group. Excellence made in Spain.

Check outaraex.comfor more information about the Spanish wines.