ISSUE #7, SEPTEMBER 2009
SAVE THE DATE! UPCOMING EVENTS
October 6, New York
October 30, Houston
September 20-22, New York
RIOJA IN THE NEWS!
LA Times, ‘Easy to drink’ isn’t an insult when it comes to wines, August 5, 2009
NY Times, The Pour: Tradition Ascendant in Rioja, August 11, 2009
NY Times, The Pour: Rooted in Rioja, Traditions Gain New Respect, August 11, 2009
NJ.com, Rioja wines a good value, August 12, 2009
Forbes, Wines You Can Find: A luscious chardonnay and a spicy Rioja, August 21, 2009
Wine Enthusiast, Spain’s 10 Best Wines, September 1, 2009
Wine Spectator, Spain: Rioja, September 30, 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:
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.
Revamping Your Website
In our third issue (May 2009) and sixth issue (August 2009), we shared tips and tools on improving your online presence to increase sales. On August 5th, Wine Spectator launched the redesign of their website, WineSpectator.com. As with many retailers and restaurants, Wine Spectator is adhering to consumers needs and encouraging engagement among wine lovers – promising more compelling content, improved tools, easier use and more interactivity. (WineSpectator.com, August 5, 2009)
So, what can we do?
Don’t be the last one to revamp your website! Having a crisp, clean and easy to use site will ensure customers get the best experience possible, online and offline. Your website is another vehicle to reach your customers and expand on your customer base and customer loyalty.
Inventory, Inventory, Inventory
Today’s buzzword in wine distribution has four syllables: in-ven-to-ry. After a year and a half into the economic downturn, those wines selling for more than $25 a bottle are becoming increasingly hard to move off the shelf. As a result, it has been increasingly hard for retailers to get rid of this inventory. In turn, those wines selling for under $10 are selling best. (North Bay Business Journal, August 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. 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. Oh, and Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink, so you won’t have to hold the bottle in your inventory for long. We help you turn your wine purchases into cash faster than the competition!
Wine In Cyberspace – Blogging!
The weekend of July 25th held the second Wine Bloggers Conference in Santa Rosa, California. The anticipation for this event was enormous, as the conference sold out its 275 slots weeks in advance – and had a waiting list of 70. Wine blogging has become increasingly important: for example, the Wine Writers Symposium held in February drew fewer than 30 paying registrants). In fact, according to W.R. Tish – writer of the article, who also attended the event – about two-thirds of attendees were independent bloggers; the rest, trade, trade-members and/or sponsors. (WineBusiness.com, July 29, 2009)
So, what can we do?
The internet and wine are quickly becoming fast friends and a necessity in today’s wine marketplace. Having a cyber presence with a website is critical, but may not be enough. Facebook, Twitter, Snooth, blogs, etc… are all becoming increasingly important. If you want to know more about Rioja, you can check out the blog Blame It On Rioja! (www.BlameItOnRioja.com).
Blame it on Rioja
Want to read more about Rioja and wines? Besides visiting our website, www.VibrantRioja.com, you can also check out Adrian Murcia’s blog, Blame It On Rioja. Adrian Murcia is a New York-based sommelier, writer, educator, and unreformed lifetime Riojaphile. In his blog, you can learn more about Spain’s premier winemaking region, tasting notes, travel dispatches and more. Enjoy!
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.