Spain’s Gil Family Estates Seeing Rapid U.S. Growth, Led By Honoro VeraAugust 28, 2015
With the Spain category gaining traction as a solid price-to-quality option in the U.S. market, Jumilla-based Gil Family Estates is among the producers making significant gains.
Gil Family is perhaps best known in the U.S. for its Honoro Vera brand ($9), but the company has leveraged a wide portfolio to roughly triple its U.S. volume to a quarter-million cases over the past three years.
Honoro Vera, which launched in 2011, jumped 33% to 54,000 cases in 2014, according to Impact Databank, and is projected at around 80,000 cases this year. With its Garnacha offering as its foundation, the brand is also seeing fast progress for its Organic Monastrell, and additionally includes a Merlot and a Blanco (made with Verdejo) whose production has been ramped up recently. Brothers Angel and Miguel Gil, who run the 100-year-old family business, tell SND the goal is to build Honoro Vera up to about 250,000 cases over the next four to five years. Gil Family’s wines are handled in the U.S. by the Bay Area’s Blue Ventures Wine Marketing, led by industry veterans Andy Fromm and Larry Moraes.
While Honoro Vera has been driving U.S. growth, Gil Family continues to expand its presence across a host of Spanish wine regions. The company has 10 wineries—and about 3,000 acres of vineyards—spanning nine different Spanish denominations, including Jumilla (Bodegas Juan Gil and Bodegas El Nido), Rueda (Bodegas Shaya), Almansa (Bodegas Atalaya), Calayatud (Bodegas Ateca) and others. Total production is currently at 625,000 cases, and the Gil brothers intend to double volume over the medium term.
“Over the next three years we’ll invest €30 million ($33m) in the business, including new equipment, infrastructure and vineyards,” says Jordi Flos, Gil Family’s general manager. “Our philosophy is that by owning our own vineyards and facilities in each region we have the control from grape to bottle to maintain quality even in bad vintage years.”
After jumping by 20% from 2010-2013, Spain’s bottled wine exports to the U.S. took a step back in 2014, sliding 8% to 4.2 million cases. This year the category has resumed its upswing, however, with shipments up 3% year-to-date through May.Subscribe to Shanken News Daily’s Email Newsletter, delivered to your inbox each morning.