Help Bring Tapas Fantasticas to the U.S.!

Imagine this. The smells of savory paella and sounds of lively Spanish music waft overhead. The delightful taste of 100+ Rioja wines paired with exciting cooking seminars, food pairing sessions, friends and the great outdoors. Sounds pretty wonderful, right? That's Tapas Fantasticas, a true celebration of Spanish culture, food and wine. If you follow us on Facebook (and we hope that you do!), you may have already seen some photos from Tapas Fantasticas in London this past August. A two day celebration in one of London's hippest neighborhoods, Tapas Fantasticas brings together dozens of Rioja wineries from Rioja, along with the greatest ambassadors of Spanish cuisine and culture. Don't just read about it, check out these great videos!

Tapas Fantasticas Day 1 Tapas Fantasticas Day 2

With enough support, we will be able to bring this awesome festival to our shores next year. Simply "RSVP" by adding your name to the list of supporters and we’ll get you first dibs on the best offers for Tapas Fantasticas in the U.S., plus exclusive access to some of the weekend’s events. RSVP now!

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header Spotlight on Rioja

Rioja Harvest Spotlight on Harvest – Rioja's Fall Highlight

Harvest season for most Rioja vineyards takes place in September and October. Early ripening varietals such as the white Viura grape reign in the harvest in early September, and the cooler-climate region of Rioja Alta in the North traditionally concludes the harvest in late October. Locals and visitors alike will know its harvest season when the weather and levels of sugar and acidity dominate conversation around town.

Over 18,000 vineyard owners harvest every fall, picking grapes in more than 120,000 registered vineyard parcels. To guarantee the best grape quality, the regulatory council of Rioja limits the quantity of grapes that can be picked. This ensures only the best grapes make it into every bottle!

Rioja produces between 250 and 300 million liters of wine every year, 90% of which is red. Tempranillo, the queen of Rioja grapes, occupies more than 75 percent of the region's vineyards.

Both the 2010 and 2011 vintages were rated "excellent," an extraordinary fact given only eight Rioja vintages have been rated ‘excellent' in the last thirty years. The rating for the 2012 vintage is expected in November.

header Rioja in the News

Wine Spectator Cover We are thrilled to share the Rioja cover story, "Revolution in Rioja," in Wine Spectator's October Spain issue. Tom Matthews and Mitch Frank honored the region with a 20+ page cover story dedicated to Rioja's wines, winemakers and tourist attractions. Over 200 Riojas were tasted for the article and 33 wineries were featured! The beautiful opening statement says it all:

Rioja has a glorious past. Propelled by a wave of innovation and investment in the late 19th century, a wine style merged that is now called traditional, producing supple, elegant reds with delicate flavors of dried fruits, tobacco and spices…..Now a third wave rejects both schools, embracing an approach rooted even deeper in Rioja's history, to make fresher wines with bright fruit and racy acidity. All of these philosophies can produce brilliant wines. Each vintner claims to be the true heir to the authentic spirit of Rioja, but only one thing is certain: Their efforts, and their struggles, are redefining the identity for Spain's most prestigious
red-wine region.

Stop by your local newsstand to pick up the issue, or read the four articles here:

Rioja's Revolutionary Moment
Leading Producers
Visiting Rioja
Spain's Allure

header Rioja Tastings

Here is just a sampling of our tasting events across the country in September. To view all our upcoming events visit our online calendar.



In-Store Tasting at K&L Wine Merchants – Redwood City
Friday, October 5; 5-6:30pm

In-Store Tasting at K&L Wine Merchants – San Francisco
Thursday, November 1; 5-6:30pm




In-Store Rioja Tasting at Haskell's – Minneapolis
Thursday, October 18; 4:30-7pm

"Spanish Harvest" Rioja Tasting at Peterson Wine Cellar – Naperville, IL
Saturday, October 27; 1-4pm




In-Store Tasting at Bowery and Vine – NYC
Thursday, October 4; 5-8pm

Walk Around Tasting at Bed Vyne – Brooklyn
Saturday, October 20; 12-4pm




In-Store Rioja Tasting at 3 Parks Wine Shop – Atlanta
Thursday, October 4; 6-9pm
$10 per person
To RSVP, e-mail or call 678.349.7070

header Rioja Across the U.S.
Vic and Anthony's Steakhouse

Celebrate Wine, Tapas & Art with Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse & Vibrant Rioja in NYC!
On Thursday, October 11 and Friday October, 12, enjoy an evening of wine, tapas and art at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse in New York City. Both nights feature a meet and greet with Riojan painter Luis Burgos and Wines of Rioja author Ana Fabiano. Taste through a spectrum of 20+ wines with winery representatives paired alongside tapas by Chef
Carlos Rodriguez.

5-8 pm
233 Park Avenue South
$75 per evening plus tax & gratuity
$120 for both evenings, plus tax & gratuity
For tickets please call Eric at 212.220.9200 or email


El Coto de Rioja's Paella Parade

El Coto de Rioja's Paella Parade Brings Good Cheer Back to the Big Apple!
Once again, the El Coto de Rioja Paella Parade, a celebration of Spanish food, wine and culture, comes to life in NYC on October 1. Following its successes in the Big Apple and other cities throughout the U.S. since 2008, ten Metro-area chefs will come together to celebrate Spain and showcase NYC's top Paella-making skills. Guests will indulge in each chef's unique version of Spain's most beloved signature dish during the celebration while sipping on delicious wines from El Coto de Rioja.

Beekman Beer Garden, North Side of Pier 17, South Street Seaport, NYC
Tickets are $50 for one/$90 for two and can be purchased at


Book Cover

Paired Wine Tasting and Book Signing in MA
Taste through 10+ Rioja wines showing the depth and breadth of the region and meet Ana Fabiano, DOCa Rioja Brand Ambassador and author of the newly released book The Wine Region of Rioja.

Wednesday, October 3
The Blue Store Restaurant at Nordstrom Burlington Mall
75 Middlesex Turnpike
Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.


header Recipe of the Month

Chef Crisp, fall weather is the perfect time to enjoy tapas and red wine with friends. This month's tapas recipe "Roasted Sausage and Bell Pepper Flat Bread" was created by Chef Rhys Lewis of the Colonial Williamsburg Lodge. Because of the fresh fruitiness in Crianzas, many would pair well with the roasted sausage and cheese in this recipe. Try La Montesa from Palacios Remondo or Ramon Bilbao Crianza.

Enjoy the recipe here!

header Last Sip

Ever wonder how to pronounce certain wines? How about how to choose a good bottle in a restaurant or how to store your wine? Check out this Wine "How-To" Guide from the writers at The Wall Street Journal. A great, quick resource for wine tips!

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