Switzerland’s largest winery to focus on “client” needs
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / AMONG THE VINES – Provins, the cooperative winery in canton Valais that is also the largest winery in Switzerland, has named Raphaël Garcia as its new director, effective 10 March. The move signals a new focus set by the board on client needs in order to develop brand recognition for the winery’s large lineup of wines.
“My first priority,” says Garcia, “will be to improve brand recognition for Provins wines to increase sales across all the client segments.” Garcia notes that Provins is known for the quality of its wines; the group in 2013 for the second time was named Swiss Winemaker of the Year.
Garcia, 42, has been head of the FVS group in Martigny, which includes management of Cerm, the congress and events centre in Martigny. Cerm is responsible for a number of commercial and popular fairs, including the very successful cantonal popular fair, the Foire du Valais, the largest such event in French-speaking Switzerland.
He has a strong marketing background, having started his career with Swissair where he was in charge of communication for French-speaking Switzerland, then TicketCorner, where he was the regional director, followed by a stint as the creator of a startup, Club Airways, to provide top-end services to the business airline industry. He speaks several languages.
Provins has 4,000 members and produces wine from 980 hectares of grapes grown between Sierre and Lake Geneva. Its wines range from lower end to top quality wines.
Madeleine Gaye won the group’s first Winemaker of the Year award in part as recognition of her work developing sweet late harvest and other top of the line wines that compete among the country’s finest wines. But the company’s history has long been marked by its struggles as a cooperative to represent the needs of growers.