Rich Xiberta, our company
More than a century ago, the dreams and ilusions of one man buil up the foundations of our company, Rich Xiberta.
During this period of over a hundred and thirty years we have consolidated a firm that has evolved from a small traditional workshop to the international group we are today. This has been a long road and not always an easy one but, with our full commitment and dedication, we have kept day after day the passion for our work and the passion for wine.
Today, alongside the 5th generation of the Rich family, we continue to manufacture a product rooted in our land and traditions while embracing the latest technological innovations and opening up to new wine markets with the same commitment to service. At the same time, we have been pioneers in setting up quality control systems with the promise in mind to better server our customers and offer the very best closures.
It is commonly said that when a door shuts a window opens... We ponder what the future holds but we are convinced that many windows await to be opened. Today they are opened to be closer to your needs and we will keep opening them as necessary. Many dreams remain to be achieved and so many things to be learnt!
In a century old company like ours, we can hardly understand the future without looking back to our origins; places that bring back memories; memories that take us to individual persons. Men and women full of enthusiasm and sacrifice expressed in their work have made this project a reality. Our sincere thank you to all of them for being part of our dreams. And to all of you, we sincerely appreciate your confidence.
1871 - 1898
June 3rd, 1871 is referred to as the date in which the closure company Rich Xiberta was founded. The marriage registry documents of Josep Rich Vilallonga and Francesca Bosch shows the husband's profession as Cork Maker. Josep had a small manufacturing plant of corks in Llambilles (Gerona) that served the local markets of Sant Feliu de Guíxols and Palafrugell.
The second generation joints the family business. Emili Rich Bosch, son of Josep, is in charge for three years to lead the first technological changes within the company. Emili decides to acquire the first equipments to improve the production process: a cork driller and a polishing machine.
1918 - 1926
The First World War years were particularly hard on the Rich family. Josep passed away just at the beginning of the war and the family had to balance its dedication to the closure company with the work at the agricultural fields. After the war, the Rich family moves from Llambilles to Cassà de la Selva. The post-war years were difficult for the overall cork industry that did not recover until 1923.
During the booming of the cork industry, the Rich family decides to partner with the Castañé family, also devoted to the cork industry and with experience in reaching international markets. The Castañé-Rich company is created. During this period initial contacts are made with Swiss and German bottlers. This growth period was shortly lived and the 30's in general were harsh on the cork industry.
1944 - 1946
The overall cork industry was further deepened by the Spanish Civil War. As a result the firm Castañé-Rich was dissolved splitting the assets of the company between the two families. The Rich family continues on its own feet in the cork business and purchases the Vilaret house of Cassà de la Selva, the building which will be transformed into Rich Xiberta's main offices for 70 years.
Upon the end of the Spanish Civil War, the sons of Emili get involved in the family business progressively taking on new responsibilities. The first son, Joan Rich Xiberta, takes on the commercial and financial roles of the firm. Joan travels constantly with the aim to further consolidate exports to European countries, especially in Germany and Switzerland. With a clear export mindset Joan also makes his first contacts in South Africa.
1947 - 1964
Following Joan, Josep Rich, the youngest brother, also joints the family business. Josep, with a rigorous character, will lead the organization of manufacturing plant and the purchases of raw material. During the 50's the family business enjoys an expansion with sales increasing year after year. Hard work and good harmony between the brothers explain part of this success.
Lluís Rich Bosch, the son of Joan, joints the family business after finishing his studies. Thanks to his enthusiasm and strong commercial relations, sales grow rapidly, especially in export markets. The 4th generation of the Rich family takes on the responsabilities of the commercial department.
1969 - 1975
Following the numerous contacts made by Lluís Rich in many foreign markets, Rich Xiberta starts its internationalization process which will become one of the main assets of the company. By the end of the 70's the most important market is South Africa, a country where Lluís always had excellent commercial relationships and where more than half of the company's production was going to be destined at a point in time.
The firm continues its expansion and growth process towards new markets. Initial contacts are made in Argentina, a market which will eventually become one of the most important ones of the company. That year the company revenues amounted to 60 million pesetas which were doubled just two years after expanding the staff up to 30 employees.
The family business gets ready for a big change which will occur during the 80's. The business turns into a "Sociedad Anónima" changing its corporate name to Juan Rich Xiberta S.A. This name will be kept until the end of the 90's.
During this decade the company stays firm with an international expansion strategy. At the same time the firm decides to modernize the plant by investing in new technology to increase and improve production. Sales increase during these years are noteworthy and Rich Xiberta's products start to get introduced into North America. The staff amounts already to 45 employees at the time.
This year the subsidiary Suros RXG, S.L. is created in Eslida, Castellón de la Plana. Suros RXG will be responsible for raw material purchases, selection and preliminary manufacturing process: transformation cork bark into cork stoppers for wine. This company will supply to the head firm of the group located still in Cassà de la Selva.
The internationalization and expansion of the group makes a huge step forward by creating a subsidiary in the United States. Rich Xiberta USA is located in California to strategically give the best and fastest service to wineries located in the valleys of Napa and Sonoma.
1996 - 2000
Following the internationalization process, Rich Xiberta starts up a subsidiary in Western Cape, in South Africa. The creation of S.A. Xiberta Corks (PTY) maintains the same objective as with the creation of the California subsidiary: Give a much better service and quality to the local wineries. With the creation of these subsidiaries the Group achieves being closer to the final customer as well as being able to control all the production process: from the bark harvest to the delivery of the cork for bottling.
Due to the sustained growth during the 90's, the main offices in Cassà de la Selva become insufficient to provide for the current customers and the new subsidiaries operating at full capacity. The headquarters leave the Vilaret building which had been the main office for the 70 years and is reallocated to Caldes de Malavella. Rich Xiberta improves in both space and productivity.
2001 - 2002
Continuing with the momentum that the cork industry is having at an international level, Rich Xiberta sets foot in Latin America creating two subsidiaries: RX Argentina in Mendoza and RX Chile in Santiago de Chile. Despite being still young, the growth of these subsidiaries along the past years has been very remarkable.
At same time the company decides to create a subsidiary in France to attend better and more efficiently the needs of the French wine-makers. The project soon paid off and sales have being growing year after year ever since. Also Rich Xiberta strongly advocated entering in emerging markets, especially in Europe, such as Croatia, Hungary or Rumania.
Due to a change in the composition of the shareholders, a new phase begins for the Group. Josep Mª Vilà Mas becomes the new CEO. The Rich family remains as a main shareholder and continues its work in managing the company through the hands of Joan Rich Vilallonga, the son of Lluís Rich, representing the 5th family generation.