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October 6, New York
October, Houston

September 20-22, New York


To view:

NY Times, The Pour: Steep Ascent for Ribeira Sacra, July 14, 2009

The Village Voice, What to 'B' to A Salt & Battery, July 14, 2009

NY Times, The Pour: Sketches of Spain, July 2, 2009

Travel & Leisure, The World's Most Spectacular Tasting Rooms, July 1, 2009

To download:

Wine Enthusiast, Bodegas Valdelana’s Centvm Vitis, August 1, 2009

Wine & Spirits, Year's Best Rosé, August 1, 2009

Wine Spectator, Spain, July 1, 2009

Allure, Reign in Spain, July 1, 2009

Food & Wine, Tempranillo: Spain's Timeless Classic, July 1, 2009

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 AND FOOD SERVICE 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.

Robert Parker to Lead WineFuture in Rioja
In 2004, Robert Parker predicted that Spain would emerge “as a leader in wine quality and creativity, combining the finest characteristics of tradition with a modern and progressive wine making philosophy.” (Food & Wine Magazine, 2004) Now, Parker, along with some of the world’s most influential wine writers and educators, will be coming to Rioja this fall for WineFuture – Rioja 2009. The conference, created by The Wine Academy of Spain and supported by the CRCD Rioja (Consejo Regulador), will be held in the city of Logroño on November 12th and 13th of this year. Discussing the global financial crisis, the environment, sales, consumptions trends, on and off-trade challenges, brands, strategies and emerging markets will be Robert Parker along with Jancis Robinson, Oz Clarke, Steven Spurrier, Kevin Zraly, Robert Joseph, Mel Dick, Dan Jago and Troy Christense.
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.

4 Strategies to Boost Your Wine Sales
A new research study by Cornell University, along with Southern Wine & Spirits, found four different strategies that boosts wine sales in restaurants:
• Including the wine list on the food menu
• Listing prices without a dollar sign
• Listing wines from certain wineries known for their quality
• Including “reserve” wines on another special section
The research was done by testing 46 different attributes of wine lists in 270 restaurants, both casual-dining and fine-dining restaurants. Some differences in the findings were found between casual and fine-dining establishments. For example, higher wine sales were found in casual-dining restaurants with a longer wine list, up to 150 wines. (Hospitality Net, July 22, 2009)
Click here to view the research at no charge.

So, what can we do?

In these tough economic times, it’s great to see some research into what can drive sales in the restaurant business. Two of the four findings are directly tied to Rioja wines, which are sure to increase your sales. A lot of Rioja Reservas and Gran Reservas are extremely high in value and relatively low in price – as shown in the study, they would fit perfectly in the “Reserve” section of your wine list. Similarly, Rioja has long been considered to produce high-quality wines – in fact, leading U.S. wine players (E&J Gallo, W.J. Deutsch & Sons and DFV wines) just added Rioja wines in their portfolio. Adding a Rioja section to your wine list will also increase sales.

Less Luxury Wines and More Quality
According to Jon Fredrikson, an industry consultant, total wine sales have risen about 5% (in terms of volume) since the same quarter last year. However, wines priced at $25 a bottle or more (retail price) have fallen about 12%. Luxury or fine-dining restaurants are especially hurting, as consumers are not spending the money on luxury wines, causing inventory to stay still. (The Wall Street Journal, July 8, 2009)

So, what can we do?

Consumers are looking for high quality at a lesser price but wines need to be tailored to your customer preferences for varietal, brand and price. Value is the name of the game. In fact, many upscale restaurants, such as Morton’s Steakhouse, are revising their wine menus to offer more bottles in the $60-$70 price range. Rioja wines offer an incredible selection of wines that routinely beat the best of France and Italy at lower prices. When reviewing your wine lists, think of Rioja.

Wines from Spain Goes Digital
Continuing the trend started a few years ago, Wines from Spain has announced they’re fully going digital with their newsletters in 2009. The newsletter will be available both as an online magazine through Texterity and as a pdf hosted at their website ( The newsletter will have three issues: Spring/Summer, Fall and Winter.
To view the Spring/Summer issue and the archive of past issues, please click here.
To subscribe and receive their newsletters, please click here.


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 Bodegas Valdemar.

Bodegas Valdemar is a family winery in Rioja whose roots date back to 1889. In 1982, Jesús Martínez Bujanda started its construction, with innovation and tradition being this winery’s trademark. In fact, Bodegas Valdemar was one of the first wineries in Europe to use temperature control in the fermentation vats.

Recently, Wine Spectator rated Inspiración Valdemar Graciano and Inspiración Valdemar 2006 a whooping 90, describing the Graciano as “a modern red that shows an inky black color and an electric mix of muscular tannins and tingling acidity on the palate… exuberant and distinctive.” Of the Valdemar 2006, they describe it as “black cherry fruit is ripe yet crisp in this focused red, framed by smoky oak and balanced by tobacco and mineral notes.”

If this distinction isn’t enough, American Airlines announced it has included the winery’s white wine, Conde de Valdemar, among the most exclusive wines for it First and Business Class clients. It is characterized by intense aromas of ripe white fruit with tropical nuances and by a potent, tasty and very fruity flavor.

For more information on Bodegas Valdemar, please click here.

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.