Buil & Giné: bringing awareness to what we have
Xavier Buil i Giné, CEO of Buil & Giné, DO Priorat, began the adventure of making wine at the end of the 20th century. He was driven by the fact that he wanted to share a lifestyle and a culture that, he says, can only be found in Priorat.
When Xavier Buil went abroad to study Business Administration and Management as a young man, he discovered that there are very good things at home and that people should be aware of. “When you go away from home for a while, you value what you have. We are neither better nor worse: we have a different way of living,” he says.
It was around that time that he decided that he needed to share this way of life, and that, to do so, he either had to get people to visit the region, or he had to take the region abroad. At the end of the last century, there weren’t many tourist establishments in Priorat,” he explains, “and it was difficult to attract visitors. That’s when, with my partner, we decided to set up two businesses related to gastronomy, which we believe is the best direct way to show how we are and how we do things”.
Xavier Buil i Giné’s family’s relationship with the world of wine is one of love for the Priorat. Despite being from Falset, the capital of Priorat, and having a family that comes from the countryside, his parents did not make a living from viticulture. The post-war period,” he says, “made many families leave their land because they could not live on what they earned. Neither my father nor my mother worked the land. I have to say, however, that they didn’t break with it either, because my father, who liked viticulture, continued to work the few hectares of family land as a hobby and, in addition, in the public posts he held, he fought to save the region”.
Proudly, Xavier Buil also explains that his grandfather presided over the Falset cooperative more than once and that, when he left home, he felt the need to “save the Priorat”, just as his father and grandfather had done.
Fine, versatile, and elegant wines
Thus, in 1996 he started two businesses: Priorat Natur, which sells gastronomic products from Priorat (sweet roasted almonds, olives macerated with herbs, honey, jams, among others), and making wine. “Wine is also an identifying and essential element of our gastronomy and culture”, says Xavier Buil, who adds: “It is more an element of a meal than an alcoholic drink“. And it is with this philosophy that he introduced a new feature in the way wine is made in Priorat. “Although the wines made in the region were very good, we thought we had to make a finer, more versatile, more elegant wine that could be served with any meal”, he reveals.
And so the adventure began by renting two wine tanks from the Gratallops cooperative. “Making a quality wine, affordable for everyone, which over time has evolved into a more sophisticated product, but which, in the beginning, I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy, without having to be an expert in the world of wine”. The winery’s wines are made from local varieties, such as Garnacha and Carignan.
Known all over the world
The Buil & Giné winery exports 95% of its production. Since it began, the wines have been exported all over the world, and it was not until a couple of years ago that they seriously considered entering the national market. Working with the local market was born out of the need expressed by customers who wanted to buy a bottle of Buil & Giné but could not find it in any wine shop. The pandemic, however, truncated this opening to the local market.
At Buil & Giné, they have been doing wine tourism since the first day they opened. For them, wine tourism is complementary. “Our main job is to make wine. For the winery, wine tourism serves to interact with the end customer, to show what we do and who we are. Everything is planned as an activity that shows the lifestyle, what a person who works in the vineyard or the winery lives,” explains Xavier Buil. 60% of visitors to the winery are from abroad. In addition to a guided tour, wine tourists can enjoy the meals served at the Amics restaurant, or stay at the winery’s hotel.
Buil & Giné was born to share and promote the Priorat lifestyle, through its wines and gastronomy. Its objective: to “save” Priorat. Unconditional love for the land where they were born.
If you liked this article, we recommend you read:
A story of vineyards and friendship5 min read
Forty years ago, four winemaking families joined
Celler Bouquet d’Alella5 min read
Bouquet of Alella, is located in the DO Alella. It is a winery located in one of the two