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ISSUE #6, JULY 2009


October 6, New York
October, Houston

September 20-22, New York


Decanter, Chardonnay Now An Official Variety in Rioja, June 3, 2009

Kansas City Wine Examiner, Wine of the Week: Sierra Cantrabria Rioja 2006, June 8, 2009

Kansas City Wine Examiner, More Best Buys Under $10 at CW, June 9, 2009

The Washington Post, Something Old, Something New, June 10, 2009

The Wall Street Journal, Ah, a Cold, Refreshing… Red?, June 26, 2009

Palacios Remondo

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.

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.

The Annual Global Drinks Market reports that worldwide consumption of wine per-capita fell for the third consecutive year in 2008. And due to the global recession, there are no hopes for this trend to reverse itself. In fact, according to the report, the current world-pre-capita consumption is the lowest in four decades. (, May 18, 2009)

So, what can we do?
The story now is value. Through 14 consecutive years of per capita increases in the U.S., consumers have shown they love wine. Now, however, they’re looking for great wine at great prices. In other words, they’re demanding value. This is where Rioja wines stand out. For example, any lover of French Burgundies can find similar characteristics in Rioja reserva and gran reserva wines at one-half to one-third the price. Wine journalists at the recent gran reserva tasting in New York were stunned by the quality and ageability of Rioja wines. Your customers will be too.

French wines are facing stiff competition from increasing wine producing countries such as Australia, Spain, Italy and the U.S. who have revved up their marketing efforts. Until now, the reputation of French wines has really been uncontested. Today, wines from countries such as Spain and Australia are routinely taking home prizes in competitions. In addition, more and more wines from the above mentioned countries are appearing in wine menus in restaurants, at a much lower price point than the French counterparts. (, June 24, 2009)

So, what can we do?

In 2004, Robert Parker predicted the demise of French wine and wrote of Spain, “Today it is emerging as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive winemaking philosophy.” Well the news is that Rioja, the wine leader of Spain, is there, regularly turning out wines that beat the best of France and Italy at lower prices. Rioja 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.

Three new Rioja wines will be available in the United States market very soon. DFV Wines, a 3rd generation family-owned wine company in California, has announced an exclusive partnership with Bodegas Baigorri.
Bodegas Baigorri is located at the heart of Rioja, embracing a fusion of old world tradition and new world winemaking. It’s winery, designed by Basque architect, Inaki Aspiazu, is a stunning glass temple designed to use a gravity fed process for vinification. It displays the perfect balance of technology, architecture and nature. DFV will import three Baigorri wines: Crianza (SRP $22), Reserva (SRP $35), and Baigorri de Garage (SRP $60). (Yahoo! Finance, June 2, 2009)
For more information on Bodegas Baigorri, please click here.
For more information on DFV Wines, please click here.

So, what can we do?

Offering a variety of Rioja wines to your customers is sure to bring your sales up. As Chris Indelicato, CEO of DFV Wines said, “Rioja is on the rise…” It is no secret why DFV chose to add Rioja wines to their portfolio of imports – as Rioja wines are excellent values at any price point.

Convenience stores are increasingly tapping into the wine market, and as the category continues to expand and attract new consumers, retail chains are expected to capitalize. Companies such as 7-Eleven Inc., Circle K Stores Inc., and others are making a big push in competing against other retail sectors, including grocery stores and liquor stores. Consumers that would normally go to a wine or liquor store are now going into convenience stores for their wine needs. (Market Watch, June 2009)

So, what can we do?

Give your customers something to come back to. Establishing relationships with your customers will ensure that they’ll come back. Share stories with them, offer them new wines to try, different varietals, etc… And of course, give them as much value for the money as possible – and remember, Rioja wines give you just that: variety, quality and value.

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

Alvaro Palacios was truly born into wine. The seventh of nine children, Palacios entered the world in 1964 at his family’s Palacios Remondo winery, in the small town of Alfaro in eastern Rioja. After establishing two highly acclaimed wineries in Priorat and Bierzo, and upon the death of his father, José Palacios, in 2001, Palacios returned to Rioja to assume responsibility for his family’s estate.

Continuing on his pursuit of excellence, Palacios introduced several changes to the existing winemaking philosophy, which included a complete transformation of the viticultural practices. He reduced the production of his vines by more than half, began growing his vines organically, and grafted over the majority of the Graciano and Mazuelo vines with Garnacha, the star variety of eastern Rioja.

Palacios also purchased more land, including 5 hectares of old-vine Garnacha and Tempranillo used for Palacios Remondo’s top wine, Propiedad. In addition, Palacios reduced the amount of fruit the winery purchased for their entry-level wine, La Vendimia. Under his leadership, the winery now uses smaller tanks and has increased the quality and quantity of barrels for aging their wines. Today Palacios is still based in Alfaro, traveling to his other two wineries on a frequent basis. Due to Alvaro’s dedication to quality and desire to preserve his family’s legacy, Palacios Remondo has become a rising star of Rioja.

Wines made by Alvaro Palacios at Palacios Remondo, his Rioja winery:
Plácet, produced in extremely limited quantities from the indigenous Spanish grape variety Viura.
La Vendimia, which represents the quality potential of Spanish jovens, and is a fruit-forward blend of Tempranillo and Garnacha.
La Montesa, named after the hillside vineyard on the northeastern slope of the Yerga mountains, is a captivating blend of the red grape varieties grown on the Palacios Remondo estate.
Propiedad, made from predominantly old-vine Garnacha and Tempranillo, represents the finest expression of the vineyards on the Palacios Remondo property, or “propiedad.”

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.