Why Spain loves Emperador
(The Philippine Star) - November 22, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Grupo Emperador Spain S.A., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emperador, Inc., was recognized recently by the Spanish government led by President of the government of Castilla-La Mancha, Maria Dolores de Cospedal, for its pioneering endeavor in achieving major modernization in vineyard operation and management that can boost grape production and generate employment in Spain.

In her visit to its Toledo vineyard, President Cospedal personally commended Emperador’s efforts of modernizing its facility that will eventually pave the way in improving the region’s commercialization and job generation, especially in the agri-food sector.

The President said the modern vineyard in Toledo should serve as a role model for other wineries and cooperatives to improve their marketing and international standards. She also welcomed the arrival of foreign companies, especially Emperador, to invest in the region.

More than half of the 500-hectare estate of Emperador in Toledo was turned into a specialized vineyard project, operated by Bodega Las Copas S.L. (a 50-50 percent joint venture company between Grupo Emperador Spain and González Byass). This vineyard serves as the first of its kind in Spain to grow the finest grapes dedicated exclusively for brandy distillation and production. It features state-of-the-art technology called Precision Viticulture, which is focused on promoting the high production of grapes while reducing production cost per kilogram. 



According to Universidad Politécnica de Madrid professor José Ramón Lissarrague, who has over three decades of agricultural engineering expertise, the vineyard employs the most advanced technology in Spain. Precision Viticulture analyzes the sides of the plots and the length of the rows in the vineyard. The orientation of the rows and the distance between vines and rows have both been specifically designed and implemented using Global Positioning Systems, or GPS. This is to help reduce the investment cost while taking advantage of the terrain, making the cultivation more cost-efficient. A highly mechanized pruning method is likewise utilized, with strict adherence to a specific vine length.  

For his part, Jorge B. Domecq, managing director of Grupo Emperador, said, “Our beautiful vineyard in the valley of River Tajo is the largest vineyard in Spain that specializes in wine grapes for brandy distillation. By using modern technology, we hope to achieve an efficient production of 30,000 kilos per hectare against an average yield of around 6,500 kilos by the vineyard industry in Spain. This means that in every hectare of this vineyard land, we will be able to harvest five times more wine grapes. This will very well support the raw material requirements for our brandy production.”

Emperador has the biggest vineyard all over Europe with an estimated aggregate of approximately 1,000 hectares of vineyards in Spain. Last year, Emperador disclosed that the company has acquired a 409-hectare vineyard in Madrid, in addition to its vineyards in Toledo. Emperador has also fully acquired Spain’s largest liquor company, Bodega San Bruno, and all its assets.

The Filipino-owned brandy is heavily investing in Spain as it continues its bid to attract a larger market in Europe, North America, the Philippines, and next year, in Vietnam.

The vineyards have been acquired for the company’s Emperador Deluxe edition, which is produced and bottled in Spain. Emperador Deluxe is the company’s flagship product that is being marketed outside the Philippines.

This year, Emperador Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Emperador UK Limited, also completed the acquisition of a 100-percent stake in Whyte & Mackay Group Limited and its subsidiaries (“Whyte & Mackay”). Whyte & Mackay is the fifth largest maker of Scotch whisky in the world with a history of more than 160 years, and owns some of the most iconic Scotch brands in the industry, including the British luxury brand The Dalmore Single Highland Malt, Jura Premium Single Malt, and Whyte & Mackay Blended Scotch whiskies. It also holds one of the world’s largest aged whisky inventories. 

Domecq added, “With this total integration in our brandy production, we are in the best position to continue making Emperador the number one brandy in the world. That gives us the capacity to expand our global market. With Emperador Spain continuously looking out to acquire more vineyard land in Spain, we expect that our total vineyard property will reach close to 2,000 hectares by 2016.”

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