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Rioja Leads Value-Driven, Food-Friendy Market In New Wine Buying Trends Survey

05 January

New York (January 3, 2011): In a recent wine trends survey by Futureshift, wines from Rioja scored high in consumer and trade ratings correlated with awareness and wine purchase decisions. This upward trend is also reflected through another banner year for Rioja wine sales, up nearly 18% in 2011.

According to trade members, Rioja excels at various price points, outranking other Spanish wine regions, as well as Argentina, Burgundy and Bordeaux in terms of value. Surveyed consumers name value as their second-most important factor when buying wine in 2011, with 63 percent buying mostly within the $10 - $20 range.

Commissioned by the Vibrant Rioja marketing campaign, the survey was completed by 3,488 consumers and 338 trade members of an opt-in Rioja wine community database.

The survey further reveals trade members attest Rioja is the best value proposition in the $10 - $20 price range (45 percent), followed by Argentina (42 percent) and Chile (34 percent). For the second year running, Rioja also leads in the $20 - $50 price category, exceeding other Spanish and Italian wine regions, Burgundy and Bordeaux. According to trade respondents, the primary grape varietal in Rioja, Tempranillo is what most significantly sets Rioja apart from other regions in the eye of the consumer (38 percent), and is the most appealing characteristic that incentivizes consumer trial.

Surveyed consumers sampled more Rioja than any other region of Spain this year: Eight out of ten people have consumed a Rioja, compared to five in ten people who tried a Ribera del Duero, and four in ten who tasted a wine from Galicia. After domestic wines, wines from Rioja are the most recommended wines by consumers (19 percent), followed by other Spanish regions (14 percent), Argentina (eight percent) and Chile (seven percent). More than half of consumer respondents noted they have been more aware and interested in Rioja in 2011 than five years ago.

This year, the greatest factors for wine-buying consumers are value, ratings and reviews. This marks a major shift from 2010, where grape varietal and country of origin influenced consumer purchase decisions the most (60 percent). Rioja fits the trend, according to the surveyed members of the trade: More than 28 percent believe value at any price point, followed by food-pairing ease (25 percent) and aging qualities (17 percent), differentiate Rioja from other wine regions.

“Rioja is known for producing high-value food wines and offering an affordable elegance unparalleled to other wine regions,” said Pablo Olay, Vibrant Rioja Campaign Director. “Through our consumer education and trade partnerships, the market has grown very loyal to this historic wine region.” 

Methodology of Futureshift New York Survey

The Vibrant Rioja marketing campaign commissioned Futureshift to conduct an Internet-based survey among members of the trade and consumers signed up for Vibrant Rioja’s online wine community database. The survey included open- and closed-ended questions and was distributed via email to new Rioja wine community members. The respondents included 3,488 consumers and 338 trade, who responded during the first half of 2011. Response percentage was sufficient for a 95 percent confidence level.

Futureshift, a brand-strategy consulting firm, has been helping companies, industries and countries compete through market research since 2001. For more information, visit

About Rioja
Located in north central Spain, Rioja is considered one of the greatest red wine regions of the world. Rioja reds are blended predominantly with the indigenous Tempranillo grape from one of the region’s three subzones — Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. The DOCa of Rioja administers highly sophisticated and stringent quality control in the winemaking process, from viniculture to bottling. More than 200 brands from Rioja are available for purchase in the U.S. For more information, please visit