Marta S. Martínez Bujanda: “The world of wine is a way of understanding life, it is culture, being able to get to know other countries and landscapes through it”.
Marta, part of the fifth generation of Familia Martínez Bujanda, is export manager and president of La Ruta del Vino de Rueda (Rueda Wine Route), and with this interview we can get to know her a little better.
More than 130 years make up the history of Familia Martínez Bujanda, one of the reference winemaking families in La Rioja and other wine regions such as Castilla La Mancha and Rueda. Five generations have preserved the family legacy of making wines from their own vineyards located in privileged enclaves.
Marta S. Martínez Bujanda was the first of her generation to join the family business. She studied Business Management in Zaragoza and, when she finished her studies, she lived in England and Germany. In 2002 she joined the company to work in the export department and for more than a year she has presided over La Ruta del Vino de Rueda. She has always advocated working for quality in the long term and the world of wine for her is: “A way of life. I am happy to be able to enjoy what I do every day”.
– What are your most special memories linked to the vineyard?
Weekends at harvest time, going to the vineyards, seeing the grapes enter the hopper, the smell of grapes, the fermentation… Those were very special weekends. As a family business whose philosophy is to produce wines exclusively with its own grapes, the vineyards have been present in my day to day life.
– What does it mean to lead the fifth generation of FMB?
Pride and responsibility. Pride because although loyalty is not always easy in the wine sector, we have customers with whom we have been working for more than 40 years. And a responsibility because we have to do our best to perpetuate this legacy.
– When was it clear to you that your future would be linked to the world of wine?
Wine has been my past, present and future. There has not been a turning point. Besides, for me and my family it is not a job. It is a way of life and we are delighted to be able to enjoy what we do every day.
-The Martínez Bujanda family exports 70 percent of its production to 65 countries. You lead the international expansion department, a position of vital importance. What are the current challenges for a winery that wants to export?
It is a job that my uncle, Carlos Martínez Bujanda, started with the conviction that it is a long-term task. There are many visits to the market before opening a country and once opened, a lot of field work to position your brand. There are many wineries, many wines … You have to build customer loyalty because it is very difficult to stay in the minds of consumers with so many options. For example, going to a fair like ProWein and seeing the number of thousands of wineries that export or want to export puts your feet on the ground.
– How is the road to excellence in the wine sector?
It is daily work, from the care of the vineyard to the attention after the sale. It is to maintain that vocation that we have inherited from our family and to keep moving forward with innovation, research and dedication to position our wines at the top. It is not neglecting any of the parts involved in the process.
– How has the role of women in the world of wine evolved over the last decade?
In all the generations of my family, women have always played a very active role in one way or another. My great-grandmother and grandmother went to the fields, my mother trained to work in the winery. Today, there are equal numbers of men and women working in the wineries. There is no differentiation of positions. The positions and responsibilities are indistinct to gender. Ideally, this presence would be normal and there would be no need to make any kind of mention or comment about this equality.
-If you had to give advice to a woman who wants to develop her own project in the world of wine, what advice would you give her?
The same as to a man: perseverance.
– Is the world of wine a philosophy of life?
Of course it is. My life is entirely linked to wine. I can’t conceive it any other way and I like it that way. It allows me to see the evolution from our origins, to meet very different people and to work with the conviction of doing things well to continue the work that our ancestors started more than 130 years ago.
– When is the best time to enjoy a good wine?
Everyone and everyone’s choice. I love the moment of opening a bottle on Friday while preparing dinner as a family, but any time is a good time to open a bottle.