We love a good Spanish wine, especially when it comes from J. García Carrión.

As the world’s fourth largest wine producer, J. García Carrión has a reputation for creating some of the most beautiful cavas and still Spanish wines on the market. To learn more about the company and what’s next for their portfolio of brands, we chatted with Tom Bernth, the national sales manager for J. García Carrión.

Pata Negra Bodega, barrel room

Pata Negra Bodega

Tell us a bit about the background and family history of J. García Carrión.

The García-Carrión farming tradition had its origin in Jumilla, Spain centuries ago. Our ancestors who owned the vineyards produced grapes and sold the wine at their own winery. In 1890, Jose García Carrión’s great grandfather built a new winery that was ahead of its time.  This was to manage the rapid growth of Jumilla’s wine exports to France, where the vineyards had been devastated by phylloxera. Since 1968, the company has been managed by Jose García Carrión. He incorporated his son Luciano in 1997, who is responsible for the international markets. “We have come a long way since the founding of the winery by my grandfather, and for more than 125 years, we have stayed true to our values of quality, which have now been passed down through five generations,” José says.

Don Simon Sangria, bottle on white

Don Simon Sangria

What are some of the company’s most popular wines?

The top brands produced by García Carrión are Jaume Serra Cristalino Cava, Pata Negra Cava and Premium Still Wines, and Don Simon Sangria, which is the number one selling sangria in the world at nine million cases annually. We are also very excited about the restyled Antano brand and the beautiful wines from Vina Arnaiz and Marques de Carrion.

Talk to us about the brand’s initiative to build awareness in the states.

We continue to activate our brands with social media platforms, magazine ads, in-store activations and a team of regional managers across the United States. We are aligned with a few of the top agencies in the country, and I am very proud of the relationships we have built here. As our volume continues to grow, we are adding additional people in strategic areas to better serve our customers.

Jaume Serra Cristalino Rosé bottle on white

Jaume Serra Cristalino Rosé

What’s next for the brand? What do you think is the hottest trend coming up in the world of wine? 

We are a leader in most packaging categories—glass, PET, tetra and bag in box. We feel that alternative packaging will continue to be the driver in wine category growth trends. Millennials don’t care about the wine snob era we experienced in the past because they want great wine in packaging that provides portability and convenience. We are at the forefront of these trends, so look for some new and exciting initiatives in the near future.

The company leads in the packaging categories of technology and production, like with canned wines. Talk to us about these initiatives. 

We pride ourselves on our world-class facilities, the best technology in the wine business and we’re as good as most CPG companies, as we have been told by major account executives who have visited our properties. As previously mentioned, we are launching several new brand initiatives over the course of the year.

Pata Negra Cava bottle on white

Pata Negra Cava

Tell us about your cavas.

We feel our cavas are the best sparkling [wine] value in the business. Jaume Serra Cristalino is produced in the traditional method and aged for 12 months, and Pata Negra Cava is aged for 18 months. We also produce some beautiful vintage reservas and gran reservas that are aged up to 60 months. Compare this to the typical prosecco that is produced in three to six months and costs more than a bottle of cava!  As you can see, we have a huge opportunity here to educate the consumer on the quality of cava, where it’s from and all its attributes. We even get our yeast from France.

Talk to us about the launch of Cristalino Ice.

We are very excited about the potential with this launch, especially from the reaction we have received from our distributor partners. We feel like we have an awesome package and a flavor profile that will be a great entry point to help us promote the cava quality story. From a production standpoint, the Dosage is slightly sweeter, so this helps reduce some of the acidity. We will have an aggressive promotional plan to launch this brand, both on and off premise.  Look for some fun mixology programs and two additional platforms we are going to attack that we feel will build brand loyalty with millennials—more details coming soon! Jaume Serra Ice will be launching in June, and we’ll be sending out updates via our social media platforms.