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VOL 3 ISSUE 6 AUGUST 2011

In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Vibrant Rioja Celebrates International Tempranillo Day on September 1!

Rioja Supports Retail

Trade Events

Trade Special Events

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  Industry News

 

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

 

Is Brand Loyalty Dead?
Hartman’s director of culinary insights, Melissa Abbott, offered interesting insight on consumer loyalty trends in the food and beverage industry during one of the webinars. Consumers have become increasingly fickle in their beverage choices, and in particular younger consumers are more willing to be more experimental in their drink selection. Regarding consumer wine preferences, Melissa points out an increasing preference for new and unusual varietals, and less sweet flavors . (Food Navigator, July 19, 2011)

Our Thoughts
Savvy consumers will continue to seek out the newest and most interesting product. This holds particularly true as it pertains to wine, as there are endless varietals, blends, classifications and regions to sample. Wineries and wine regions must continuously work hard and offer great product to gain and maintain loyalty. Consumers may be willing to try something new, but if they like what you offer and the product is consistently solid, they’ll to remain fans for life.

Off-Premise Wine Sales Increase in June
In the 4 weeks ending on June 25th, off-premise wine sales rose 5.3% from the previous year. Though imported wine sales dropped .1%, domestic sales increased by 7.4% with most price points showing an increase. However, the $20+ segment rose significantly, up 18.4% in sales and up 22.5% in volume. (Wine Business, July 12, 2012)

Our Thoughts
Increases in sales and volume in the market is always a good sign. The growth in the $20+ price-point is of particular interest, rebounding after a long downfall due to the economic recession. One must still be cautious, however, and continue to offer the best value possible to consumers to drive long-term brand loyalty.

Remembering Enrique Forner and Fred Koehler
We would like to honor one of our own Riojaphiles, Enrique Forner, founder of Marqués de Cáceres, who passed away July 21st at the age of 86. Described by some as the father of modern Rioja wines, Forner is depicted in John Radford's book The Wines of Rioja as "the latest in an honorable tradition of reformers in Rioja," due to his bold moves to install stainless steel tanks in the winery and to reduce aging time while using more new oak. These practices, along with stainless steel fermentation, are now common practice in Rioja.

We would also like to pay tribute to Fred Koehler, founder of Lynfred Winery, who died on July 16th. We’d like to again raise a glass in remembrance of another pioneer wine-maker. We fondly recall Fred and thank him for all he did to raise wine awareness and to improve wine-making in the U.S.

55th Anniversary of Hemingway’s Visit to Bodegas Paternina
Bodegas Paternina, in Haro, Rioja, celebrates the 55th anniversary of Hemingway’s visit to the bodega in 1956, two years after winning the Noble Prize in literature. To honor both this visit and coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death, Bodegas Paternina is planning an exhibition about his life, his relationship with wine, literature, Spain and Rioja.

The exhibition will be open for 7 months – from mid-September to April of next year. For more information, please visit www.paternina.com.

Rioja in the News

Check out some recent articles written about Rioja. We love spreading the word!

Imbibe Magazine focuses on the BBQ-friendly Tempranillo grape in “Bueno Tempranillo”
“With grills, smokers and coal-stoked hibachis operating on all cylinders, we find our taste buds salivating for something a little lustier; a little more apropos for skin-baring, under-the-stars, sizzling summery feasts—like the soft and lovely signature grape of Spain: Tempranillo. From the younger, cheery fruit in joven versions to easy-going, affordable crianzas and savory, serious reservas, Tempranillo isn’t just one of the most food-friendly wines—it’s also one of the best values you’ll find; and come summer, it’s one of the most reliable reds around.” Read the full article.

iSante looks at the past, present and future Rioja region in “The Once and Future Rioja”
“Against the background of the Rioja village of Elciego, the violet-blue-silver tumble of the Frank Gehry–designed hotel-restaurant at Marqués de Riscal declares, ‘Rioja is transformed.’ Three miles away, at the feet of the Sierra Cantabria, the Santiago Calatrava–designed Ysios winery spreads out in an undulating yellow wave. It sings, ‘Rioja is this land.’ Rioja wines have been synonymous with unchanging tradition. These striking architectural symbols proclaim that style—and change—have arrived in Rioja.” Read the full article.

Rioja Wine on Gary Vaynerchuk’s Daily Grape
Gary Vaynerchuk, Host of Wine Library TV and Rioja fan, samples two Rioja wines, 2005 Finca Allende Rioja and 2001 La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva Especial, in this episode of Daily Grape. He calls Rioja “Spain's most historically significant, classic and noble wine producing region” and says that “Rioja’s a place that needs to be discovered.” Watch it here.

Rioja Information

New Global Rioja Website Launched
Check out our new global Rioja website at us.riojawine.com. You can now access Rioja information from the educational campaigns around the world, including Germany, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, the UK and the US. On the site, you will find Rioja wine types, classifications, harvests, vintages—everything you need to become a Rioja expert. You’ll also find links to our various social media pages, our newsletters and helpful information on Rioja travel, events, architecture and much more. For the trade, there are downloadable POS items, brochures/guides and tips. Visit us today!

Vibrant Rioja Celebrates International Tempranillo Day on September 1!
On September 1st, Vibrant Rioja will celebrate the First Annual International Tempranillo Day! TAPAS – the Tempranillo Advocates, Producers, and Amigos Society (www.tapasociety.org) – has declared September 1, 2011 Tempranillo Day, a celebration of the Tempranillo grape. TAPAS and Vibrant Rioja encourage everyone to open a bottle of Tempranillo, enjoy the fun, and share their experiences online using the hashtag #tempranilloday. If you find a great bottle of Rioja for the special day, join in the conversation with #riojabuzz.

Tempranillo, indigenous to Spain and made famous by Rioja, is planted in 500,000 acres of the world’s vineyards, making it the fourth most planted wine grape. Until recently, its entire acreage was almost all in Spain. Today, however, knowledge of this noble grape is rapidly spreading, creating excitement and a spirit of cooperation among vintners both in the Old World and New. Tempranillo today is grown in the US, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia, France, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, China, Thailand, and more. And that’s why TAPAS has established International Tempranillo Day. You can register your support at www.internationaltempranilloday.com.

Vibrant Rioja and TAPAS are sponsoring regional events around the world, leading up to and around September 1. Stay tuned to Vibrant Rioja on Facebook and Twitter for event updates.
Rioja Supports Retail

Interested in creating a rich Rioja program to offer your clientele at your store, restaurant or bar? Vibrant Rioja can offer a dynamic and prosperous program for your establishment for a wine category on the rise. Please contact vpinzon@crt-tanaka.com for further information.

Trade Events

Newly Launched Rioja Bartender Competition
The Vibrant Rioja campaign launched a bartender’s competition on July 22nd, which will run through October 3. The competition is open to any on-premise employee in the US who serves Rioja by the glass or bottle at their place of employment (restaurant, bar, etc.). Contestants will be judged on their knowledge of the Rioja region, a proprietary Rioja-based cocktail and a written essay for the chance to win a trip for two to Rioja. The competition will be judged by an experts’ panel, including Vibrant Rioja team members and the Tippling Brothers. For more information, or to enter, visit www.riojabarcompetition.com.

Rioja Bartenders’ Guide Now Available!
Are you a restaurant owner or bartender interested in learning more about Rioja? The Vibrant Rioja campaign has partnered with The Tippling Brothers to create a Pour Genius: Rioja Bartender Guide filled with fun and helpful information on Rioja. From food pairings and cocktail recipes to varietal types and wine classifications, the guide will turn you into a Rioja expert overnight! The guide is available online at www.riojabarguide.com.

Trade Special Events
   

Wine Bloggers Conference Rioja Crawl
On July 22-24, Rioja was a premier sponsor of the 4th Annual North American Wine Blogger Conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, which hosted over 300 bloggers. The campaign hosted a “Vibrant Rioja Crawl” after hours party with five participating Charlottesville restaurants and gourmet shops. Using their “Vibrant Rioja Crawl Pass” as a guide, bloggers received a stamp at each stop along the walking route for a complimentary glass of Rioja wine and a small plate. Recipients of four stamps could enter to win a case of Rioja, and for recipients of all five stamps, a trip to Rioja. The lucky winners will be announced in August!