Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Another 'new addition' to the Bodega

Who was it once said, 'the best way to make a small fortune in the wine business, is to start off with a very large one!'

It has to be said that running a wine cellar is an expensive business, not only buying the materials, and making the wine, but also the long-term upkeep of the building and machinery. It really boils down to re-investment - no pocketing of profits and flying off to the Bahamas for luxury breaks. Our luxury for this year?...... Buying a new tractor!

So, after re-furbishing the front of the Bodega and installing a new logo, comes our latest investment. A brand, spanking-new tractor to replace the old one (which has just celebrated it's 16th birthday, 'a good innings' as the English would say). Included in the purchase is a new crop sprayer, that we are re-assured will be much more efficient, and therefore reduce even further the amount of treatment that we need to use.

I thought I would grab a few photos of the new 'beast' before we apply the requisite coating of mud.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Is your glass supersized?

In another salvo, this time from the Royal College of Physicians, the subject of responsible drinking in the UK has once again come under scrutiny. On this occasion pubs and bars have been criticised for increasing their measure sizes, simply for the purpose of boosting profit margins.
In the official table of alcohol units used by the UK's DrinkAware campaign, a standard glass of wine is considered to be 125ml (six glasses to the bottle). However, only 16% of licensed premises say that this is now their standard measure, whereas up to 73% say that the new standard has increased to 175ml. In some cases glasses of 250ml are being served, which equates to one third of a bottle in every drink!

It is rare that wine drinking finds itself the spotlight, but if these statistics are to be believed, then there is probably reasonable cause for concern.

For those of you worried by your personal intake, our Albarino (with 12,5% Alcohol), yields only 1,6 units per 125ml glass, and 9,4 units per bottle.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Our April 1st posting

The real Fujitsu-Siemens stand

Time to come clean...... here is the definition:

April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day, though not a holiday in its own right, is a notable day celebrated in many countries on April 1st. The day is marked by the commission of hoaxes and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, enemies and neighbours, or sending them on fools’ errands, the aim of which is to mislead or trick the unwary.

OK, so you spotted the joke.

Whilst we might be a reasonably successful Bodega, we are certainly not mega-rich, and would simply not be able to afford such an enormous pavilion at Prowein. In fact, the real truth is, that we did not even attend (as we opted to go to Alimentaria instead)

Pfallioor GmbH is of course a crude anagram of April Fool GmbH!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Bodega family grows

Baby Christian

A few of you who deal with our Bodega on a regular basis might know that Luisa (who administers our accounts) and her husband Fran (who takes care of the bodega) were expecting their first child.

Last Friday 28th March, Luisa gave birth to a healthy, bouncing baby boy named Christian. If this young man ever decides at some point in the future that he wants to work at Castro Martin, then he will be the third generation of Luisa's family to do so - Luisa's father Luis, also worked for us prior to his retirement two years ago.

Mother and baby are both doing very well, and indeed only yesterday (on his first visit to the Bodega), we gave young Christian his first taste of AlbariƱo. We were not encouraged by his reaction:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Extreme Makeover: Bodega Edition

If you have visited our Bodega over the last 12-18 months you will know that I have always been very apologetic about the appearance of our faƧade - sadly in need of a good lick of paint. Here in Spain one of the big problems is to find a good, reliable painter (actually not just a problem exclusive to Spain) - the second, is getting him to come!

So, after a summer of broken promises, our man (Pedro) finally decided that he could squeeze us in. Ironically though, just as he filled his brush with paint for the first time, so came the rain - absolutely useless for outdoor painting.

After a couple of weeks under grey skies (and scaffolding), the sun finally returned, and also, thankfully, did the painters. Work now continues in bright sunshine, and as the new white paint is added, so the glare intensifies as you walk outside. Sunglasses are definitely recommended.

Historically the name and logo of Castro Martin has always been painted directly onto the wall of the building, but after 25 years comes a break in tradition - we have designed some very smart metal lettering which has been promised for the 5th May. They didn't however mention in which year!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Did you miss us at Prowein?

Click image to enlarge

You can imagine my astonishment when I received an e-mail yesterday, from a prospective Dutch importer asking for samples. Not because they asked for samples, but because they said that they could not find our stand at Prowein this year!

Having invested a fortune in building one of the most dynamic, space-age pavilions ever to be seen at a wine fair, it left me scratching my head...... what exactly do we have to do to get noticed? Brightly lit, and with our logo visible from every conceivable angle, I cannot imagine how anyone could possibly miss us. Maybe the stand was simply too big, and customers were not expecting something so dramatic - I will never know.

Anyway, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank our German design partners, Pfallioor GmbH for their patience, and considerable creativity in helping us put together this idea. I am left wondering if we will be able to come up with something better in 12 months time?