Wagyu around the World - Spain
Patxi Garmendia introduced Wagyu to Spain. Born and raised on a farm in Bergara in Gipuzkoa, he grew up with an appreciation for working with nature. He left his three brothers so that he could raise partridges which needed a drier climate. He started in Burgos in a small home in the mountains and built up the business with one worker to almost 200 over 20 years.
Having become the largest supplier of pheasants in Europe, he set a new goal in 2005 to produce the best beef. Surprisingly, he discovered Wagyu beef in Argentina and then sourced semen from Australia which had originated in Japan to start his herd.
Production within a framework of sustainable development is on two farms in Santa Rosalia and Villandrando near Burgos. His cattle are happy and stress free on the 360 hectares. "Nuestro Buey", a subsidiary of Altube Group, was established in 2001 and translates quaintly to mean "our beef".
He developed his own feeding ration and steams grains with the objective of reducing emissions and the herd has built up to 1,900 head. They are fed 15 kilograms a day and are given 1 litre of organic wine towards the end of the finishing period. They also listen to piped FM radio music. Comfort is increased with the use of biodegradable straw bedding. The option is given to move indoors or outside. Weights when marketed are between 890 and 1,000 kilogram at the age of three years.
From the outset, demand for De Santa Rosalía branded gourmet Wagyu has been spectacular. 50% of the beef is sold in Spain with the balance exported to other countries in Europe. Prices for the cuts range from €20-30 for skirt up to €90 for loin.
Guests to the manor Finca Santa Rosalía can rest and savour the Wagyu beef, organic wines from Bodega Garmendia, partridges gourmet Perdicampo, Capon de la Dehesa and Black Truffle Santa Rosalia.
Wagyu International represented Spain at the inaugural World Wagyu Congress in 2015.
Carlos Moreno Jiménez is President of Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Ganado Selecto de raza Wagyu.
EmbrioMarket SL is affiliated to the British Wagyu Association and offers a registration service through SWB.