Home Chile Recognizing Consumers, Predicting the Future: A Conversation with Sergio Hormazabal, Vina Ventisquero

Recognizing Consumers, Predicting the Future: A Conversation with Sergio Hormazabal, Vina Ventisquero


A Conversation with Sergio Hormazábal

Traveling in Chile we were able to share lunch with the President of the Chilean Association of Winemakers, Asociación de Ingenieros Agrónomos Enólogos de Chile, and winemaker for Viña Ventisquero, Sergio Hormazábal. Working for Viña Ventisquero, Hormazábal is responsible specifically for their Root: 1 brand. Hormazábal advocates for the quality of Chilean wine, noting that the goal rests in encouraging consumer desire as quality is there and continues to grow. We asked him to express his views on the idea of making wines for the consumer. Following are some of the thoughts Hormazábal had to share.

Sergio Hormazabal

Sergio Hormazabal, president, Asociación de Ingenieros Agrónomos Enólogos de Chile, and winemaker, Viña Ventisquero, climbing the steep slopes of Apalta in the back of a truck

“People talk about making the wine the consumer wants. To me talking about the consumer is like trying to capture the rainbow. Who are you talking about? If you want to talk about the consumer, show me faces and names.

“People like to look at statistics to predict the future. This is always a mistake. If you look at statistics you are always looking in the mirror to the past, to what is behind you.

“How to predict what will sell? What is the future? It is very complicated but I think the only way is not to look at the numbers but instead to be in places and talk with people. You do not experience the future through the numbers but by being in a place, by talking to people, by looking at the street to see what’s there. It is not scientific. It is a feeling. But you need time in the street, in a place to catch a hint of what is to come.

“We talk as if people know already what they want. People do not always know what they want. Instead, give them a taste of something. They like it? A moment before they had not had it. They did not know they would like it.”

Thank you to Sergio Hormazábal.

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  1. I agree – winemakers ( and wine writers) need to spend time eye-to-eye ( not iphone-to-iphone) with real wine purchasers, consumers and get a dose of what folks in the tarde are dealing with every day.

    There is a world of difference between hanging out in vineyards and other “safe places” ( i.e., celebrity-somm wine bars) and the world where most of the wine is sold and enjoyed.

    Glad to hear a winemaker saying this – wish more people would take the advice…

    • Thank you, Alfonso. I appreciate you commenting. Yes, I think you know we agree. It was refreshing and emboldening to hear Sergio express this, and as a leader of other winemakers as well. There are good things happening in Chile. It’s good to be there and hear the perspective (like this) coming from that country–part of the future, no doubt.

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