Very Fine Vinos Looking at distribution in a different light
By Isabelle Escande – Photographs: courtesy of the estates, posted on 26 September 2022
Founded by Christopher Vanpoulle in 2010 to promote Iberian wines worldwide, in just a few years Very Fine Vinos has successfully carved out a prime position for itself in the Spanish wine arena. It has even become the official wine distributor of MasterChef, an institution in the country. Despite its success, the company has always favoured quality over quantity and demonstrates a new way of viewing distribution, one that is based on trust, interaction with people and good wine. After the untimely passing of its founder, the company is determined more than ever to continue on its journey.
Spain is brimming with quality bodegas which struggle to make a name for themselves in the international marketplace due to lack of confidence, knowledge or resources. This realisation led to the inception of Very Fine Vinos, though there was also a certain amount of serendipity it has to be said. After Christopher Vanpoulle, who had long worked for a number of estates, was unexpectedly let go, he was forced to reinvent himself. So he decided to leverage his wine industry knowledge and skills and help bodegas broaden their horizons. Very Fine Vinos had just been born.
The company now works with eight wineries. True to its original premise, it has deliberately chosen to work with a limited number of firms in order to focus on friendly relationships and an exclusive commitment. This was its way of doing justice to its partner estates who farm their own vineyards whilst showing unwavering respect for the land. Consequently, Very Fine Vinos does not offer its services willy-nilly – its partner winegrowers stand out for the quality of their work and limited volumes. In fact, many of their wines have been showered with renowned accolades.
The wineries are located in equal measures in prestigious Spanish appellations such as Rioja, Priorat and Ribera del Duero, and smaller, more under-the-radar regions such as DO Bullas, Txacoli and Utiel-Requena. This variety underscores the commitment made by Very Fine Vinos to Spanish wines and the family-run wineries that make them. They are its core priority. The focus is on putting a face to the wines and telling the story behind the bottle, explains customer sales manager Ana Belén Sánchez.
A highly adaptable model
The company is small, its founder used to explain, but the services provided to its partner bodegas and end customers (importers) are manifold. Very Fine Vinos distributes its wines in around thirty countries, in Europe, Asia and the United States. It has its finger on the pulse of new trends and the specific demands of each market, and can adapt quickly. Diversification, both in terms of shipping destination and customer base, is one of its traits. It works with importers who sell to hotels but also with supermarkets and online wine clubs. This versatility enabled it to weather the pandemic relatively effortlessly.
Christopher Vanpoulle’s untimely passing last March obviously had a profound effect on everyone at Very Fine Vinos. All will remember a man who showed a deep sense of humanity, who was extremely professional and passionate. As do we!
A real gentleman who left us far too early, his achievements continue through Very Fine Vinos.
A tribute from one of the partner wineries
Christopher, along with his team, took Pago de Larrainzar on a journey around the world, opening doors and always believing in our wines. We are continuing his work with the same enthusiasm, though we will miss him every day. Irene Canalejo. Sales Manager. Bodegas Pago de Larrainzar (DO Navarra).
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