Spain is one of the undisputed wine-producing countries in the world with famous wine-growing regions (such as Rioja) and grape varieties (such as Tempranillo). History illustrates this too: the Phoenicians introduced wine to Spain as early as 1100 BC and pioneered the cultivation of grapevines as well as processing the grapes. What started back then with the first vineyards on Iberian soil has continued to be a real success story to this day.
Spanish winemakers have access to the largest wine-growing region in the world – land that measures about 964,000 hectares – and that is more than 15 percent of the world’s overall surface area that is used for grapevines. 150 domestic varieties of grapes grow there with 97 protected designations of origin – the so-called “denominación de origen” (D.O.) – Cava sparkling wine from the Penedès wine region is just one example of this. This diversity not only excites sommeliers and gourmets from abroad: Spaniards themselves are passionate wine lovers and celebrate their drink in grand style. How? Numerous wine festivals take place all over the country – such as the “Fiestas de San Mateo en Logroño” – and wine celebrations have already been continuing at special ceremonies since the 12th century. Wine is not only deeply rooted in Spanish people’s hearts culturally and traditionally, but it is also an enormously important industry for the country, employing about 428,000 people. According to Statista, Spain captured third position behind France and Italy in 2021 in terms of the amount produced by the leading wine-growing countries around the world – the figure in Spain was 35.3 million hectolitres. That is about 25 percent of the wine that is produced in Europe.
From the grape to the glass: tailor-made warehouse and transport processes guarantee that the wine arrives on consumers’ tables at all. Many wine growers rely on specialist logistics experts, which handle the storage and distribution of wine bottles to wholesalers and customers so that they can focus on their core business. This is also necessary from an economic point of view: wine logistics is a huge cost factor and has to be organised very professionally – and this includes using the latest technology. Different target markets, packaging sizes and other factors also massively increase the logistical challenges for producers. Storing the goods is one particularly important stage along the supply chain, as no other phase in a product’s life cycle has a more crucial effect on the quality of the final product after it has been produced and bottled.
There are only a few other products, which are as sensitive and difficult to handle as wine when it comes to storage. Any change in temperature, air humidity or light can damage its taste, its aroma or its colour and therefore pose a risk to the painstaking work performed by the wine producer. The warehousing operations have to meet particular standards in order to prevent this. For instance, wine bottles should not be exposed to any direct light, and be stored in a horizontal position with as little vibration as possible. The air humidity should be between 60 and 80 percent and the temperature in the premises between 8 and 18 degrees Celsius.
To ensure that all these factors are considered in the best possible way, cooperation with a logistics expert, which specialises in storing this product, has now become an important competitive advantage in the wine sector. The warehousing specialist Rhenus Warehousing Solutions has various warehouse models for this in order to guarantee that the products arrive at their destination on time and in perfect condition: either multi-user warehouses to store the products for several customers, or in-house solutions at the wine producer’s premises, or dedicated warehousing solutions with customised storage in line with individual requirements. The logistics services for specific products are not only directed towards wine, but also spirits, champagne and Spanish sparkling wine (Cava). Value-added services are also possible here – for example, those specially tailored towards the e-commerce sector. They include operations such as labelling, co-packing, batch production and special types of packaging.
“At Rhenus Warehousing Solutions, we can provide our customers with extremely modern, temperature-controlled warehouse facilities with plenty of capacity. The logistics centres are designed in such a way that they guarantee the correct temperature for the wines. They also provide ideal air humidity levels, ventilation and lighting for the products,” says Juan Pedro Escobar. He believes that the world of wine has been open to technical innovations, particularly in the field of production and marketing, for some time, despite its traditional background. The logistics expert is also one of the partners involved in finding new solutions and therefore promoting growth in this sector – and long-term growth, but not just in Spain.
Discover more about the logistics services for the wine sector provided by Rhenus Warehousing Solutions in Spain.
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