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ISSUE #6, AUGUST 2009

SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING EVENTS

GREAT MATCH

October 6, New York
October, Houston

STAR CHEFS
September 20-22, New York

RIOJA IN THE NEWS!

To view:

NY Times, The Pour: Steep Ascent for Ribeira Sacra, July 14, 2009

The Village Voice, What to 'B' to A Salt & Battery, July 14, 2009

NY Times, The Pour: Sketches of Spain, July 2, 2009

Travel & Leisure, The World's Most Spectacular Tasting Rooms, July 1, 2009

To download:

Wine Enthusiast, Bodegas Valdelana’s Centvm Vitis, August 1, 2009

Wine & Spirits, Year's Best Rosé, August 1, 2009

Wine Spectator, Spain, July 1, 2009

Allure, Reign in Spain, July 1, 2009

Food & Wine, Tempranillo: Spain's Timeless Classic, July 1, 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.

Robert Parker to Lead WineFuture in Rioja
In 2004, Robert Parker predicted that Spain would emerge “as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive wine making philosophy.” (Food & Wine Magazine, 2004) Now, Parker, along with some of the world’s most influential wine writers and educators, will be coming to Rioja this fall for WineFuture – Rioja 2009. The conference, created by The Wine Academy of Spain and supported by the CRCD Rioja (Consejo Regulador), will be held in the city of Logroño on November 12th and 13th of this year. Discussing the global financial crisis, the environment, sales, consumptions trends, on and off-trade challenges, brands, strategies and emerging markets will be Robert Parker along with Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier, Kevin Zraly, Robert Joseph, Mel Dick, Dan Jago and Troy Christense.
Registrations for Winefuture-Rioja 2009 will be available on-line from the official website at www.winefuture.es. In addition, some of the speeches will be available through live broadcast on the website.

Already have a website for your store? How about Social Media initiatives?
In our third issue (May 2009), we shared tips and tools on improving your online presence to increase sales. At the fifth annual Wine Industry Technology Symposium in Napa on July 16 and 17, social media took the leading discussions. Whereas having an updated and simple to navigate website is a “given” in today’s market, having a social media presence is increasingly becoming more important for wineries and retailers alike. Moderator Tammy Boatright, president of Synchronicity Consulting, talked about the “consumer-relationship lifecycle,” where relationships start with awareness, which then leads to conversion, engagement and loyalty. (Wines & Vines, July 20, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Having a holistic approach to servicing customers is key in today’s market. Keeping and building relationships need to be integrated into all the aspects of the consumer – in the store and online. After having and establishing your online presence with a clean, simple and easy to navigate website, forming online communities with your customers is key. Not only will they engage in conversation with you, but you will also be building loyalty and ensuring that your customers return to your store.

Get Rid of Luxury Wines?
Even wealthy drinkers don’t want to spend money on expensive wines. So, why should you? According to Jon Fredrikson, an industry consultant, total U.S. wine sales rose 5% in terms of volume in the past year, but wines priced at over $25 fell 12%. As a result, many retailers are cutting their orders on luxury wines and giving big discounts to the end customer. (The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Consumers are increasingly looking for high quality wines at a lower price, but wines need to be tailored to your customer preferences for varietal, brand and price. There are no better wines than Rioja wines for this purpose. In fact, Rioja wines often beat the best of France and Italy at lower prices. Rioja has more variety than almost any great wine region in the world: seven varietals for reds, six for whites; three climates; four types of terroir; and four aging standards. Keep in mind that leading U.S. wine players – E&J Gallo, DFV wines and W.J. Deutsch & Sons – decided to include Spanish wines in their portfolio because they know that consumers are increasingly discovering and buying Rioja wines.

Battle the heat with Rosés
Looking for ways to drive sales and increase customer loyalty? With summer rolling along, try offering your customers a refreshing alternative to the more traditional red and white wines, Rosés. Not long ago, Rosés received a bad reputation thanks to American inventions such as “Pink Champagne” and White Zinfandel. But the landscape is changing for Rosés. In fact, according to Nielsen research, over the past year, retail sales of imported Rosés in the U.S. rose 42%. (Restaurant Business, July 2009)
So, what can we do?
Educate your customers on Rosés and how they’re a perfect summer wine – a good match with food, low in alcohol and crisp acidity. Most top wineries in Rioja offer very inexpensive Rosés made with the Tempranillo grape that are sure to please your customers. Prices are a lot friendlier than traditional French rosés and they’ll appreciate that you’re thinking of them during these long and hot days of summer!

Wines from Spain Goes Digital
Continuing the trend started a few years ago, Wines from Spain has announced they’re fully going digital with their newsletters in 2009. The newsletter will be available both as an online magazine through Texterity and as a pdf hosted at their website (www.winesfromspainusa.com). The newsletter will have three issues: Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter.
To view the Spring/Summer issue and the archive of past issues, please click here.
To subscribe and receive their newsletters, please click here.


BRAND PROFILE: BODEGAS VALDEMAR


In each newsletter issue, we’ll profile a Rioja winery, importer or distributor of interest to the wine trade or a retailer doing an outstanding job with Rioja wines (Please submit articles.). In this profile, we take a look at Bodegas Valdemar.

Bodegas Valdemar is a family winery in Rioja whose roots date back to 1889. In 1982, Jesús Martínez Bujanda started its construction, with innovation and tradition being this winery’s trademark. In fact, Bodegas Valdemar was one of the first wineries in Europe to use temperature control in the fermentation vats.

Recently, Wine Spectator rated Inspiración Valdemar Graciano and Inspiración Valdemar 2006 a whooping 90, describing the Graciano as “a modern red that shows an inky black color and an electric mix of muscular tannins and tingling acidity on the palate… exuberant and distinctive.” Of the Valdemar 2006, they describe it as “black cherry fruit is ripe yet crisp in this focused red, framed by smoky oak and balanced by tobacco and mineral notes.”

If this distinction isn’t enough, American Airlines announced it has included the winery’s white wine, Conde de Valdemar, among the most exclusive wines for it First and Business Class clients. It is characterized by intense aromas of ripe white fruit with tropical nuances and by a potent, tasty and very fruity flavor.

For more information on Bodegas Valdemar, please click here.

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.