Wine-flavoured Cuban Tourism
By Robert F. Campos
Cuban cuisine experts have alerted that to develop first-class tourism on the tropical island it is necessary to opt for the presence in local markets of better and more important wine brands, which in their opinion would give a big boost to this industry which is in a sharp upward spiral.
Fernando Fernández, senior lecturer in the national system for training specialized tourism personnel (Formatur), shares this point of view. Nowadays, contemporary world cuisine is unthinkable without wine; an irreplaceable beverage inserted in the best way possible with any food style
Fernández is also the national coordinator for training sommeliers and advisor for Havana Club International and Habanos S.A firms.
During a brief conversation with Cubaplus, Fernández said that there is great interest in Cuba for a larger presence of better wines in the food domain of tourism, and the country’s new economic strategies are helping to achieve this goal.
As a noteworthy boost to top quality tourism development, Cuban authorities associated with this activity have for several years organized the International Wine Festival, always held in the halls of the landmark Hotel Nacional de Cuba, in Havana City. In these meetings, held to present and taste varieties of wine, important wineries from Spain and Chile have always had an outstanding presence, although in its latest edition, celebrated in October 2011, there was a notable participation of wineries from Italy, France, Argentina and Mexico.
Among those companies were Bodegas Torres, MG, Juanita Mateo S.L. (Freixenet), D’Marco, Grupo Ibero Turst Mercados S.A. (ITM), D & B, L and Winery, Joan Sardá, Inversiones Pucara S.A. and Dallevigne, the latter a Tuscan Italian cooperative grouping several wineries. According to the exhibit’s organizers, the boom of the tourism market and the growing gastronomic potential in Cuba are triggering growing interest from producing and marketing companies for the already traditional wine meeting.