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Delhi Wine Club
Passing By: Armengol and Plana of Torres

Posted: Wednesday, 17 April 2013 18:25

Passing By: Armengol and Plana of Torres

April 17: Xavier Armengol, Export Director and Josep Plana, Area Manager of Miguel Torres were in India last week on their first visit to familiarize themselves about the Indian market and meet the customers of their Indian JV, Prestige Wines and Spirits. Subhash Arora, who met them at an exclusive dinner at Sevilla Restaurant, shares the experience of the evening

Click For Large View‘It’s my first visit in over 15 years that I have been with the company and I am very impressed by your market,’ said Xavier Armengol who took over as the Export Director of the Torres group of wineries a couple of years ago and is based in Vilafranca near Barcelona. Josep Plana, who has been working with Torres since 2000, looks after markets that include Japan, Mexico and India. He has looked after the Japanese market for 5 years till 2010 when he finished his diploma with WSET. He takes over the responsibility from their Brand Ambassador Marc Perello who recently left Mumbai to take up his assignment for the company in Brazil.

Xavier has held different marketing positions in Torres since he started working with them in 1995. In the Domestic Sales Department, he also worked in the On-Trade and Duty Free markets across Spain as Head of the HORECA. He has been Export Area Manager for different countries such as Japan, Korea, UK and Ireland. He also has an MBA from Berkeley University.

Josep has had charge of the Latin American markets at the Headquarters of Torres. ‘He has a sharp nose for the brandy market in Mexico with a million-case market,’ says Xavier about Josep who would be co-coordinating sales in India from the Headquarters after Marc Perello but will perhaps continue to nurture that brandy market.

It must have been really a feel-at-home time for the two to have a relatively quiet and relaxed dinner at the Spanish/Mediterranean restaurant universally acknowledged the best in town for this cuisine. They had been busy at a dinner organized at the Hyatt Regency which I could not attend, being out of the country. Wines that flowed this evening were naturally quite familiar to them -Jean Leon Chardonnay 2011, Gran Viña Sol 2011, Iberico Crianza Rioja 2009, Mas la Plana 1996 and Gran Muralles 2006.

The never-ending stream of delectable Tapas from the Sevilla Claridges kitchen that has recently been armed with the first-in-India Jasper oven from Spain, took honours in matching with wines - especially the Jean-Leon , a crisp, dry and fresh Chablis-like Chardonnay, oaked Chardonnay - Parellada, a fuller-bodied blend of Gran Viña Sol and the light-to-medium bodied Crianza from their Rioja winery. It was also perhaps the first time duringmy all-vegetarian meal that I realized that tapas could do wonders if they are prepared under the supervision of Chef Neeraj. I did binge on the different variants of pizza, alternating them with the whites and the Crianza.

Mas la Plana Cabernet Sauvignon and Grand Muralles, a blend of Carignan, Grenache, Mourvedre and a small proportion of local grapes (reminding me of Chateauneuf-du-pape), are top-level wines which give credence to the quality Torres is committed to, even though they might be a bit too expensive in on-trade where they are available.

Torres has a unique reputation of supporting the Indian JV with Sumit Sehgal heading the operations, through frequent visits, the previous one being by the man himself, Miguel Torres, a couple of months ago. It is certain that we shall see more of Xavier and Josep, and soon.

Subhash Arora

Tags: Prestige Wines and Spirits, Torres, Rioja, Crianza, Miguel Torres, Sevilla Restaurant, Claridges


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