Here is an interview about us from the Recetum team, that will give you a bit more information.
Interview with Sara Rivera, CEO of Rivers of Wine.
In our interview today we spoke with Sara Rivera, CEO of Rivers of Wine (riversofwine.net). At 24 years old, she is a Spanish entrepreneur in the wine world and is working outside Spain, particularly in the UK. She origintes from Valladolid and has been interested in the wine world her whole life. She is facing three difficult tasks. First, to be an entrepreneur. The second is to work in an area dominated by men. And the third is that both are performed outside of Spain, in the UK.
Sara, from her company, is dedicated to the representation of Spanish wines in the UK market. She believes that the potential is very large for the broad existing market, but competition for it is also huge.
How is Sara
Recetum- First, how did you become dedicated to wine as a professional activity?
Sara – I can say that this world has always caught my attention. When I was little and lived in Spain I loved when my father and my brothers were working on the electrical part of the wineries (they have a company with this activity). So I could see from closer to the cellar and learn a bit about how it worked. I spoke with the winemakers, and even now I still do whenever I can.
Also I spoke with viticultors, since I am from La Seca, a small town that is at the heart of the DO Rueda, and most of us work in one way or another with wine. Talking to each other I realized that this is what I liked and I enjoy doing it and there is always a lot to learn. This was hooking me slowly. As they say if you work with what you like, it´s not working.
Also I could appreciate that wine is not a sector that attracts attention from young people and really did not understand why. I always wanted to find a way that young people could take an interest in it. I think these are the main reasons although there are many more.
How is an average day?
R- How is your average day?
S – (smiles). Every day is different and I learn new things and meet new people every day, which I think is very enriching as I get to see things from different perspectives. I never stop learning. Also, the longer I’m in England, the harder I find it. I’m here with my partner, but I’m without my family and now we are one more at home. People have told me that the longer and more difficult the journey to your goals, the better the reward, and I hope that’s true. But often I feel like this is not my job but a hobby, and I enjoy doing it.
R- If the wine sector is mostly a world of men, how do you feel about this?
S- Honestly this is not an impediment, I think that every wine is a different story, I don´t think about whether the people I’m speaking with are male or female. We are all equal and we are doing what we like. But I must also say that in the years I’ve been working I’ve seen that there are more and more women starting to work with wine.
The wine sector
R- Why UK? Do you see differences with the wine world in Spain in your work?
S- I came to UK to improve my English. In my years here I studied a Sommelier Course in London, along with some others courses. This gave me the opportunity to combine information with people of other nationalities, winemakers, sommeliers and Masters of Wine. Here in England I think people are more open to try new, different things. There are fantastic wines worldwide if you know where to find them, that’s the hard part. Both the wine and tourism in Spain have a lot of potential. We have these two things in our favour and we need to make the most of them. What I find frustrating is that some cellars are almost giving away year´s worth of work just to get into the UK market at a low price, and so the consumers are expecting low prices, meaning small producers with great wines are not known because they can´t sell their wine for such a low price.
R- You told us you have your own wine, with the same name as your business ‘Rivers of Wine’. How do you see your own wine and the wines you represent in a competitive market like the UK?
S- That’s right, We started with Rivers of Wine because we weren´t sure how this adventure will go. We decided to keep Rivers of Wine as we wanted to have something more personal and also to move the wine outside Spain and UK. But all the wines I work with, in some way are also mine, or so they feel. The truth is that the competition is tough but you have to adapt to what the customer wants. It is difficult to enter the UK market, but so far we are seeing great acceptance
Brexit and Spanish market
R- Do you think ‘Brexit’ can affect the world of wine and your particular activity?
S- I can see that a lot of people are upset. The City of London is not feeling too good about the result of the referendum from June. Now the value of the pound is at historic lows. We can only wait to see what happens.
R- How do you see the current wine market in Spain, in terms of production and consumption?
S- In production and quality there is a change. We are growing up. Also, people can see this from outside. They no longer see Spain only as Rioja. There are more areas and wines such as Rueda, Rias Baixas, Ribera del Duero etc. I think this is very important because we have great DOs and it´s helping that people are becoming interested and learning about different areas and very good wines. The way I see it, consumption is centered mainly in middle age and older.
In Spain the sad thing is that most production is exported to other countries, and domestic consumption is very low if we compare with other countries. I would like to find a group of people my age drinking a bottle of wine. I think we need to bring young people into the wine world and teach them about the enjoyment that can be found in wine, and not just focus on people middle aged or older.
R- How are you planning the future and what are your career goals?
S- Right now I have new projects in mind which will soon be carried out. As for my future, I don´t know, I try to live in the moment and enjoy what I do, but if one thing is clear in my future it´s that I want to continue in the world of wine.