After the purchase of NQN, the Eurnekian and Viola families became one of the most powerful groups in Argentina. In fact, Forbes magazine included them within the list of the 15 most important wine groups in the country. In this interview, Julio Viola makes reference to the future of the company and Argentine viticulture in general.
How did you come up with the idea of buying NQN?
It was our neighbor winery and one always looks at the neighbor with some sort of affection (he laughs). NQN winery had some things we did not, and vice versa. Bodega del Fin del Mundo is somewhat four or five times bigger than NQN, taking into account vineyards and the winery. However, Del Fin del Mundo sells 14 times more in volume and 12 times more in terms of value. We had a commercial potential that NQN did not, and we could easily transfer this capacity to it. This was one the reasons; and the other was proximity. There are only 2,000 meters between one winery and the other, separated by the vineyards that are together.
Why did you keep committing to the Patagonia region instead of some other place?
NQN as well as Malma are powerful brands but they were not fully developed. We considered the opportunity of developing another Patagonia brand. Besides, we did not have a restaurant and NQN does, as well as a beautiful inn.
What are you planning to do?
It is not possible to make many investments at the same time. As we grow, we are planning on investing in the most important growing region of the country, Mendoza.
How was NQN’s shareholding structure finally set?
Eurnekian family owns 50% and Viola family the other 50%. We kept the same percentages for Bodega del Fin del Mundo.
What is the production capacity of each winery?
In the same year, Del Fin del Mundo’s capacity went from 8 to 9 million liters, and NQN can now produce 180,000 liters more. It is important to highlight that NQN is an independent winery. Even though administration and commercial management will be unified, products are separated. In fact, Sergio Pomar is still NQN’s winemaker and Roberto de la Mota its consultant, while Del Fin del Mundo has Marcelo Miras as winemaker and Michel Rolland as a consultant.
What is your forecast about growth?
This year’s sales estimate suggests a 15% increase with respect to last year. For instance, in Bodega del Fin del Mundo, we set out to grow by 15% in volume which has been really hard to keep up.
Do you believe Patagonia brand helps promoting wine sale outside this region?
I believe it does. It is remarkable the importance of the Patagonia brand in the marketing of the products of the region.