My favorite professional visit during Forum Europe 2016 was our visit to Codorníu in Barcelona, Spain. It was the first professional visit of the program, and I was very eager to experience what a “Forum-Nexus professional visit” entailed. The buses dropped us off by the vineyards, where I was able to capture some great photos. We went inside and split into groups to tour the Codorníu estate. We learned a lot of history behind the family business. Codorníu was founded in 1551. It is the oldest family-based company in Spain, and one of the oldest in the world. Today, Codorníu produces around 60 million bottles of wine and has over 200,000 people visit annually. Hearing those statistics made me feel so grateful to be one of the 200,000 people this year given the chance to experience and learn about such a famous and successful company.
Our visit began with a 3D video highlighting the history of Codorníu. The video included information about the architecture of the winery, and how the wine is produced and manufactured. After the video, we all boarded a small, electric tram. After learning a few more facts about the winery, we were able to see it for ourselves on the tram ride. The winery is twenty miles of tunnels and three stories deep. It holds over 100 million bottles of wine. The ride seemed a little spooky at first since we were deep inside of a cellar on a tram track, but the cellar caves were beautiful and hold so much history throughout them. The ride lasted for about 5 minutes. It was very neat to be able to see the underground storages of the Codorníu winery.
After the train ride, our groups met together for a cava tasting. We were given the opportunity to taste both the white cava and the rosé cava. There I learned that Codorníu cava is sparkling rather than flat. I loved the rosé so much that I decided to purchase a bottle of Rosé Anna as a souvenir. The gift shop was cool and included the wines we tasted in the cava, along with many more flavors.
My major is Public Relations, so I took the Cross-Cultural Communications course with Forum-Nexus. Although the visit to Codorníu seemed more business oriented, my concentration in communications allowed me to take a valuable information from the visit as well. I was able to see and learn how Codorníu communicates through international markets to sell their products worldwide. In addition to learning about Codorníu’s international sales, I also observed the way in which the cava winery marketed their products by offering the complimentary tasting at the end of the tour. Each person was given one glass of white cava and one glass of pink cava, then taken directly to a gift shop exit, which was full of Codorníu cavas and other goods. I am not ashamed to admit that although it was an obvious ploy to have their products purchased, the wine tasting strategy worked on a large majority of our tour group, myself included! Overall, the professional visit to Codorníu was very educational since prior to the visit, I was not familiar with this leading international company.
By: Rachel R., FN 2016 Alumna