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October 6, New York
October, Houston

June 18-21, Aspen

September 20-22, New York


NBC New York, Drink Up! Thrillist’s Rioja Wine Tour, April 27, 2009

NBC Chicago, Wine Goes Well With the Weekend, April 27, 2009

Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Reign of Spain Is Hardly Plain When It Comes To Wine, April 21, 2009

BlackBook, Rioja Restaurant Week: Spanish Sauce on the Cheap, April 16, 2009

Reuters, Travel Picks: 10 Top International Wine Destinations, April 10, 2009

Links below download a .pdf file

Wine Spectator, New Wines From Around the World, May 1, 2009

South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Look to Spain’s Rioja For Great Value, April 23, 2009

Star Democrat, An Affordable Wine Option, April 17, 2009

Grupo Barón de Ley Portfolio

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 RESTAURANTS, A NEWSLETTER FOR THE ON-PREMISE TRADE BROUGHT TO YOU BY VIBRANT RIOJA. We will be presenting news, trends and ideas to help you build your on-premise business. We will cover anything in relation to the wine industry and the food-service business as a whole. Then, we’ll bring it straight to you in short, concise bites that are aimed to help.

Some of the world’s most influential wine writers and educators will be coming to Rioja this fall. WineFuture-Rioja 2009 is an international conference created and owned by The Wine Academy of Spain. The conference, supported by the Consejo Regulador de la Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja (CRCD Rioja), will be held in the city of Logroño on November 12th and 13th, 2009. Attending will be Robert Parker, Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier, Kevin Zraly, Robert Joseph, Mel Dick, Dan Jago and Troy Christensen. – They’ll be discussing the current challenges that the global wine industry is facing, providing solutions, ideas, strategies and leadership. Topics that will be covered include the global financial crisis, the environment, improving sales, consumption trends, challenges facing the on-trade, brands, marketing strategies and emerging markets.
Registrations for Winefuture-Rioja 2009 will be available on-line from the official website at In addition, some of the speeches will be available through live broadcast on the website.

We know that a glass of wine a day is good for you, but how good? According to a Dutch study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, half a glass of wine a day may add five years to your life – compared to non-drinkers. That’s more than the two and a half years the study found for beer drinkers. The research followed 1,373 men for more than four decades, noting the drinking and eating habits. A possible explanation given by Marinette Streppel of the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands can be the protective effect of polyphenol compounds – chemical substances found in plans such as tannins and flavonoids – found in red wine. (, April 2009)
So, what can we do?
Consumers are always looking for a good story. Talking to your customers about the positive effects of wine is a fantastic story to tell – and it’s scientifically proven. In addition to keeping your customers interested, you’ll keep building relationships with them, a key way to ensure they will return. And in the meantime, try recommending a Rioja or two – for health reasons, of course.

According to new figures released by the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV), French wine exports have been relegated to third place – behind Italy and Spain. While Spain’s exports are thought to have reached 16.5m hectolitres, France dropped to 13.6m hectolitres, a global market share of 15%. In addition, France removed 15,000 hectares of vines during 2008. (, April 2009)
So, what can we do?

Keep trying to offer more variety. As you may know, Rioja is known as The Land of a Thousand Wines. It has more variety than almost any great wine region in the world: four varietals for reds, three for whites; three climates; four types of terroir; and four aging standards. Keep in mind that two leading U.S. wine players – E&J Gallo and W.J. Deutsch & Sons – decided to include Spanish wines in their portfolio.

With less people dining out, the on-premise trade has been struggling with ways to bring traffic in – and ensuring returns. In an economic situation such as the one we’re facing, offering more perceived value than the next guy is key. Matthew Mabel, president of Dallas-based Surrender, Inc. – a hospitality management firm – states that “to fill seats, give customers an extra reason to come out.” And that extra reason doesn’t necessarily have to come from the price of food. (Restaurant Business, April 2009)
So, what can we do?

It’s a fact: young wine consumers want a good story from their wine server. If you need stories about Rioja wines, we can help train your servers. An experienced server will be able to increase customer satisfaction and your margins – and increase the perceived value of a customers’ meal. You can also offer a free bottle of Rioja wine. It can cost you less than the gift certificate and improve the overall dining experience. Also, did you know that Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink? This means 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.

In each newsletter issue, we’ll profile a Rioja winery, importer or distributor of interest to the wine trade or a restaurant doing an outstanding job with Rioja wines (Please submit articles). In this first profile, we take a look at Rioja’s Grupo Barón de Ley.

Spain today is the most exciting wine growing country in Europe, and Grupo Barón de Ley is at the forefront of the exciting growth that has exploded in all of Spain in the last decades of the 20th century. Each of the wineries the group represents (El Coto de Rioja and Baron de Ley in Rioja, Museum in Cigales and the most recent one, Maximo in Castilla de la Mancha),produces wines of unequalled quality and each continues to evolve and grow at the same pace.

To understand Spanish wine today is to understand, as nowhere else, the intermingling undercurrents of old world terroir, habits, vineyards and agriculture with new world lifestyles, tastes, techniques, points-of-view and the new world’s sense and definition of freedom.

Rioja, along the northern ridge of Spain’s huge central plateau, is certainly Spain’s greatest vineyard region and indisputably one of the world’s greatest. In this area, divided into three zones, Tempranillo is king. The vine has dug into the rocky soil of Rioja from the north to the south of the region with its tenacious and powerful roots and has allowed the region to sustain its population. Nowhere more than in Rioja can one see (and taste) the intermingling and sometimes the conflict between old world and new.

Baron de Ley was founded in 1985 when a group of wine lovers built a single-estate winery in Rioja Baja. Based on the “Chateau” concept, grapes made into wine would only be estate grown—a concept rarely practiced in the region. Baron de Ley’s unique personality blends the best of old and new, resulting in modern-styled Riojas.

El Coto de Rioja, located in Oyon, was founded by the same group of investors in 1970. Their first vintage was released in 1975, and the brand quickly became known as “the restaurant wine” in Spain. A modern-styled wine back then, all El Coto de Rioja wines are aged in new American oak and are produced in part, from estate own vineyards in Rioja Alta’s Cenicero Village.

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 ( for more information and guidelines. We look forward to hearing from you!


• 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.