SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING EVENTS

RIOJA RESTAURANT WEEK
April 26 – May 2, New York

GREAT MATCH
May 5, Chicago
October 6, New York
October, Houston

RIOJA TRADE TASTING
May 19, New York

ASPEN FOOD & WINE CLASSIC
June 18-21, Aspen

STAR CHEFS
September 20-22, New York

RIOJA IN THE NEWS!

Sun Sentinel, Wines From Rioja in Northern Spain, April 23, 2009

Chicago Sun Times, Vintage Pairings, April 1, 2009

NYTimes ‘The Pour,’ Good Old-Fashioned Rioja, March 23, 2009

The News Star, Look to Spain to Find Great Wine Deals, March 18, 2009

Links below download a .pdf file

Food & Wine, Rocking the Wine World, April 1, 2009

Miami Herald, The Wines of Spain, March 6, 2009

ABOUT VIBRANT RIOJA
Vibrant Rioja is a partnership
between the governing body for
wines from Rioja, Spain – called the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja – and Wines from Spain, under the auspices of the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX).
Our goal is to raise awareness
and educate consumers and
trade professionals on wines from the Rioja region. Email us your questions or comments at:
newsletter@vibrantrioja.com

WELCOME TO RIOJA BUILDS RETAIL, A NEWSLETTER FOR THE OFF-PREMISE TRADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIBRANT RIOJA. We will be presenting news, trends and ideas to help you build your business. We will cover anything in relation to the wine industry and the beverage retail business as a whole. Then, we’ll bring it straight to you in short, concise bites that are aimed to help.

FIRST ANNUAL RIOJA GRAND TASTING
Rioja is proud to bring the First Annual Rioja Grand Tasting to New York on May 19th at City Winery from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. While many wine regions host annual proprietary tastings, this will be the first of its kind for Rioja – giving you the opportunity to taste some of the world’s best and most food-friendly wines in an unparalleled environment.
The walk around tasting features approximately 40 importers open to trade and press. Mark this event down in your calendar and join us for an afternoon of exquisite wine, and find out why Rioja is referred to as The Land of a Thousand Wines.
Please click here to download the invite to the event and remember to register!
RIOJA WINE CRAWL
Educating your customers on the different wines from Rioja can be a great way to build on a brand and bring in more traffic. This last Saturday, Rioja and Thrillist partnered to bring consumers living in NYC and Chicago a taste of extraordinary and luscious Jovenes, Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas. For four and five hours respectively, people were able to visit five and six different wine stores to sample and purchase Rioja wines. Click here for a map of the locations in NYC and click here for a map of the locations in Chicago.
Take a look at the pictures of the Rioja Wine Crawl from NBC Chicago and NBC New York.

U.S.A. ON TOP OF THE WORLD
Even though fewer people uncorked wine bottles in “wine drinking” countries across Europe, such as Italy and France, one country is coming out on top: the United States. According to the International Organization of Vine and Wine, the failing wine consumption in European countries was offset by growth in countries such as the U.S. (World Wide Consumption Falls For 1st Time In Years, BeverageWorld.com, April 7, 2009)
So, what can we do?
There’s nothing much to do, but congratulate each other for being excellent wine drinkers. Also, why not keep offering customers more Rioja wines? Besides being some of the most food-friendly wines in the world, they also offer an immense amount of variety.
SURVIVING HARD TIMES
The current economic situation is hurting wineries across the globe – but especially in the U.S. With the shift in consumer behavior, wineries that focused heavily on restaurant sales are reaching out more to retailers. Consumers are focusing on trusted brands they know and trading down towards “value” brands. (Wine Spectator, 2009)
So, what can we do?
More and more consumers are discovering Rioja wines and demanding them on site. Rioja wines have also have a great and extensive selection for every price point. Adding or expanding a Rioja wine section can have a positive impact for your business.
SPAIN EXPORTS ON THE RISE
According to the Spanish Wine Market Supervisory Board, Spain’s wine exports crossed the 2 billion Euro ($2.6B) mark for the calendar year of 2008 through September. In the United States, Spanish wines have enjoyed tremendous growth – 3% by volume and 8% by value annually.
This growth has caused two leading U.S. wine players – E&J Gallo and W.J. Deutsch & Sons – to include Spanish wines in their portfolio. (Impact, March 1 & 15, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Keep trying to offer more variety. As you may know, Rioja is known as The Land of a Thousand Wines. It has more variety than almost any great wine region in the world: four varietals for reds, three for whites; three climates; four types of terroir; and four aging standards.
IT’S ALL ABOUT FOSTERING THE BRAND
“…If they want to maintain consumer loyalty, they must build their brands,” states Pernod Ricard’s Pierre Pringuet when talking about the Australian market. However, the Australian market does not differ from the U.S. market in terms of strategy. Instead of focusing on short-term gains by offering deep discounts, which can have devastating effects on a brand, the focus should really be on building a brand for the long-term. (Impact, March 1 & 15, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Educating your customers on the different wines from Rioja can be a great way to build on a brand. The sub-regions of Rioja Alta, Alavesa and Baja offer very distinct and diverse wines for all palates. Your customers will get more accustomed to the wines and they’ll be eager to try new or different ones from the region.
BOYCOTTING THE GREAT ‘CHÂTEUX’?
Bordeaux’s great ‘châteux’ could be in trouble this year. According to The Times, and as published by El Mundo, the trade is not willing to purchase any of the 2008 wine if the prices don’t go down to the rate seen in 2002 (for Premiers Crus, about 95 EUR a bottle vs. 317 EUR in 2007). This is due to the economic situation around the globe, causing consumption and production of these great wines to fall significantly. As a result, demand has been going down while prices have been going up, steadily. (The Times/El Mundo, April 2009)
So, what can we do?
While Rioja may be less well known in the U.S. than regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy and Piedmont, in Europe, it’s held in the same esteem. Try recommending a Rioja red – with great selections for all price points. We can help train your staff about Rioja wines.

GET INVOLVED... HERE'S HOW
If there is anything that you'd like to see in the upcoming newsletters that you feel will help other businesses, write a column and submit it to us! We would like to share best practices with all of you, so if you're doing something different to grow your business or would simply like to share your knowledge, please let us know.

Those interested should email Vibrant Rioja (newsletter@vibrantrioja.com) for more information and guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

WHAT CAN VIBRANT RIOJA OFER?
• Wine Sourcing -- we can put you in touch with importers and distributors to help you develop a wine
program customized to your needs
• Education -- we partner with the Culinary Institute of America to offer seminars and tasting programs that
can teach your staff about the Rioja region, characteristics of the wine, and appropriate food pairings
• Food & Wine Pairing -- we can draw on our many relationships with leading chefs and food-and-wine
educators to develop an outstanding set of wine pairings for your menu
• Promotional Programs -- we can design and help execute different promotional programs to help you
introduce your staff and customers to the wines of Rioja. Some sample programs are: Vibrant Rioja VIP Club – special tastings, food pairings, seminars and guided trips to the region; Vibrant Rioja Winedays – Build traffic on off nights; Vibrant Match – Try a tasting and pairing event customized to your offerings.
That's great, but… what else?
Vibrant Rioja Materials – we can provide you with a wide range of educational and promotional tools – many customized to your needs. They include bottle-neckers, informational notebooks, maps, gift bags, tasting notes, food-pairing notes and much, much more. If you have an idea, we will try to work with you to produce it.