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Alegria Wines – Spanish Wine Retailer

Date Founded: 1 April 2004
Address: Apt de Correos 506, 29610 Ojen. Malaga
Phone: (0034) 626 469 154
Email: steve_bannell(at)yahoo(dot)com

I originally met Steve through a series of links and referrals online, but it wasn’t until a week ago that I was first introduced to his enthusiasm for Spanish wine by phone. Based in Malaga, Steve runs an online wine store that specializes in hard to find wines not represented in local Malaga wine shops. What follows are his responses to a series of questions that I presented to him in written form.

What is your focus or emphasis as far as your selections:

Brands/labels – I sell wines with an excellent price/quality relationship, usually from family run bodegas. My wines are not available in supermarkets or other retail outlets on the Costa del Sol area and are, therefore, exclusive. I am also getting good at identifying new wines that are a cut above the average and have a future. I am not interested in big brands and global wines – real wines made by real people are my interest.

Give me a short history of how you got started:

I was frustrated at not being able to buy the range of Spanish wines I wanted to try. The range provided by supermarkets was woeful and if the melted chocolate biscuits are anything to go by, they were also kept in “unsuitable’ conditions. I have done an enormous amount of book and field research to identify the hidden gems of Spanish wine which I cellar in “perfect’ conditions. I am on a steep learning curve because my background is education not business.

What are your future goals at Alegria Wines:

At the moment I am relying on word of mouth to advertise the business. However, I am looking to go rather more “public’ in the next few months to try and create more turnover. I also intend to add more wines to my list. I am learning as I go along and am very wary of wasting money. It is a given for me to only work with people I like and trust.

Do you provide any special tastings/events:

I already hold tastings for groups. I am looking into the possibility of running wine trips to Ronda. I am always open to ideas and I like to keep my options open.
The service I provide is very personal and friendly. Nothing pleases me more than seeing someone’s eyes light up over a glass of wine I have suggested they try.

On a side note, when I was talking to Steve, I asked him if he could help people who only visit the area for a short time. He said that he can deliver to Hotels, and if requested, might even be able to put together an educational tasting for you and your friends. He’s a very friendly guy and I encourage all of you to check out his site when you have a chance.

Till Soon,
Ryan Opaz

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