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Sparkling Success: Wines of Brazil's Rise in the International Market

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28/03/2024 A Conversation with Rafael Romagna, Export Manager for Wines of Brazil

In an increasingly competitive wine market, Wines of Brazil has found a unique niche with its high-quality sparkling wines. Rafael Romagna, Export Manager for Wines of Brazil, discusses the key grape varieties and growing conditions that set Brazilian sparkling wines apart. He also shares insights into the company's marketing strategies and its focus on expanding into new markets. 

Malvika Patel: Rafael, what are some of the key grape varieties in Brazil for the export market?

Rafael Romagna: Wines of Brazil specializes in sparkling wine. We produce really good quality sparkling wines. And, it's starting to get recognition in the international market. Brazilian wineries are getting more and more international awards and it qualifies our products. We use sparkling wine as a flagship for the international market.

Image: Malvika Patel, Editor, Beverage Trade Network in discussion with Rafael Romagna, Export Manager, Wines of Brazil.

Malvika Patel: That’s great for the Wines of Brazil. Especially in the current market, where sparkling wines are one of the few categories showing promise in an otherwise flattening wine market. 

What kind of opportunity does this present for the Wines of Brazil?

Rafael Romagna: Yes, as it is the flagship varietal for the Brazilian wineries, it's very important for us that the market is growing for sparkling wines.

L to R: Cesar Baldasso, Salton Wines; Malvika Patel, Editor, Beverage Trade Network; Sid Patel, CEO, Beverage Trade Network

Malvika Patel: How does Brazil differentiate its sparkling wine in a market dominated by French producers? Given the longstanding consumer mindset associating sparkling wine with France, how does Brazil carve out its niche and distinguish its products?

Rafael Romagna: We try to use freshness as the concept of differentiation for the Wines of Brazil. The sparkling wines from Brazil are unique because Brazil is not known in the worldwide view today.

Picture Credit: Wine n About

In Brazil, we have a lot of regions today that produce sparkling wines. We have a great terroir for it. We also produce sparkling wine in the north which is very different, very sweet, as it is very hot in that region. The international awards we are winning recognize the quality of the Brazilian sparkling wine, so we use that to differentiate ourselves. 

Malvika Patel: Yes, I think that would be very important because that will help you come to the minds and eyes of consumers and buyers as well. It says that Brazilian sparkling has great quality.

Let’s talk more about exports.

What are the volumes we are talking about for the export of all wines from Brazil and then sparkling wines, all over the world?

Rafael Romagna: Brazil is a small export country. In 2022 we exported 13.9 million dollars worth of wines. This was a great result because it is an increase of 10% compared to 2021, but it's still small. So we know we have the potential to grow and that's why we are here at Prowein, to show our sparkling wines and to grow the volumes in the future.

Image Source: Wines of Brazil

Malvika Patel: What are your key export markets today?

Rafael Romagna: The US, China, and the UK, all of these. 

Malvika Patel: Let's talk about China. What kind of marketing efforts are you making in China? What kind of growth trajectory have you seen in the last few years there? And what kind of opportunities are you seeing in China right now?

Rafael Romagna: As a small country in terms of export, with small wineries, we focus on trade fairs. We need to get importers and distributors and the trade fairs are where we can meet them. That's the reason that we are exhibiting here too. In China, we will exhibit at Interwine and will get high exposure. So those are two fairs that we are focusing on apart from others. 

Malvika Patel: Are there any new markets Wines in Brazil are exploring right now, any emerging markets where you can see a growth opportunity for wines of Brazil?

Rafael Romagna: We are trying to focus and secondly prioritize some countries in South America because it's closer so it's easier.

For example, in the USA we need to work with some rules.

Malvika Patel: Yes, the three-tier system.

Rafael Romagna: Correct. 

So for the Brazilian wineries that don't have an export department, it's difficult. For exporting in South America, it's easier. So we are looking at some countries like Uruguay.

Malvika Patel: Which Latin American countries are the major consumers of Brazilian wines and sparkling wines?

Rafael Romagna: Chile and Colombia.

Malvika Patel: What kind of efforts are you making in the USA for marketing your wines?

Rafael Romagna: As the US is our main export country, we're also trying to exhibit there. We will be at Vinexpo, NY and we are trying to set up some promotional actions with the Brazilian embassy.

We are also starting a buyer project. So we will bring buyers and partners from the US to visit our wineries. It's very important for them to know more about the wine regions of Brazil. They are pleasantly surprised because they cannot even imagine that Brazil has such good sparkling wines and such good views. This is very important for the project.

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Conclusion:

With a focus on quality, innovation, and strategic marketing, Wines of Brazil is carving out a space for itself in the global wine industry. By showcasing the diversity and excellence of Brazilian sparkling wines, the company is successfully differentiating itself and capturing the attention of consumers and buyers worldwide.

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