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MARCH 2010

Save the date!

Vibrant Rioja upcoming events:

March 14 Midwest Wine Expo presented by Binny’s Beverage Depot, Chicago (Consumer Event)

March 23Rioja Kick-Off Tasting at MK Restaurant, Chicago (11:30 – 3:30 pm)

March 30Rioja Tasting at Restaurant Hearth in New York (10 pm – 12 am)

April 8Spa Week in New York at Prince George Ballroom (5:30 – 9 pm)

April 22-24CIA Flavor Summit

May 4-6Rioja Grand Tasting – The Vibrant Rioja Campaign is pleased to announce the Second Annual Rioja Grand Tasting events that will take place in Chicago and New York

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.

Vibrant Rioja launches Integrated Retail Program
In a move that signifies a growing commitment to the U.S. marketplace, the Vibrant Rioja marketing campaign announced today the launch of a multi-million dollar trade program to support national sales at all levels.

“Twenty years ago, less than twenty bodegas imported Rioja wines to the U.S.,” said Ana Fabiano, Trade Director of the Vibrant Rioja campaign. “But today, Rioja is one of the most identifiable brands of Spain, with more than 100 distribution channels nationwide. We’re as synonymous with the country as flamenco dancing and bullfighting.” Fabiano continues, “As a category, Rioja delivers unparalleled quality the trade and consumer can trust. The diversity in today’s Rioja – in style and price – is astounding. "

Despite current economic trends, this program will enhance the region’s dedication to the U.S. domestic market and provide valuable support to existing and prospective importers and distributors of DOCa Rioja bodegas and their wines.

Over 400 integrated programs make up the 2010 trade strategy, including a point of purchase program, virtual retail program and independent account support. Additionally, momentum continues with successfully integrated retail programs piloted in 2009 that helped create over 20% increase in sales.

You can download the entire press release.

Rioja attains sales of 236 million litres in 2009, bettering expectations
According to Control Board statistics, Rioja sales in 2009 amounted to 236 million litres, of which 211M were red wine (90%), 14.5M white wine and 10.5M rosé. Sales on the domestic market reached 163.6 million litres (70%), while exports to international markets totalled sales of 72.4 million litres (30%). Rioja is the clear leader among Spanish wine regions in both markets, with a market share of over 40% of total sales of premium wines.

There is no doubt that the quality and sustained growth model encouraged by the Rioja Designation of Origin —whose prime goals are to strengthen its aged wines in the premium wine segment and increase its presence on international markets— is allowing the region to face the current situation from a better position than its competitors. To achieve this, one of the competitive advantages for the Region is its strong position in different market segments. The diversity of wines currently offered by Rioja and its superb ability to innovate have led the wineries to adapt their products to market demands, evolving in tune with consumer trends. This has allowed the D.O. Ca. Rioja to successfully cater to drinking trends towards better quality wines within a context of receding demand.

Wine Sales on the Rise

Things really seem to be looking up for off-premise wine sales according to The Nielsen Company-tracked data; wine sales increased 5.1 percent from the same period last year in the 4 weeks ending February 6. In the 13 weeks ending February 6, sales increased 3.5 percent. Overall, wine sales grew in all price points in the 4 weeks ending February 6, with the largest growth in the $9 to $11 price segment, which increased 9.4 percent. Wines in the $3 to $5.99 and $12 to $14.99 price segments also showed an increase in growth. ( 2.22.2010)

So, what can we do?
The $9 - $11 price-point is making a comeback early in the year, so adding and showcasing more of them will not only increase foot-traffic and volume, but also give your customers more choices. And try adding more Rioja wines to your selection. With so many great wines at every price-point, Rioja is sure to be a hit! Rioja offers many bold, fruity crianzas around the $10 price point and more complex reservas around $20. No other wines offer this tremendous value – equivalent to Burgundies or Bordeaux that are two to three times the price.

A Few Bumps Along the Road to Recovery
As economic pressures continue to impact consumers’ buying habits we have been faced with the concept of a “New Normal.” According to The Nielsen Co.’s Economic Advisor Beverage Alcohol Webinar, retailers’ alcohol beverage categories will be similarly shaped to take advantage of some opportunities and address shoppers’ newfound frugality. By focusing on current economic indicators and the impact of those figures on consumer behavior, and how it shapes beer, wine and spirits purchases across several retail channels we can get a better sense of how to implement the “New Normal” and continue along the road to recovery. ( 2.8.2010)

So, what else can we do?
The “New Normal” means consumers are a little more frugal with their purchases than in the past. We’re still going to see consumers buying brands they know and trust, but some will also continue experimenting. Rioja has been producing some of the world’s best and more varied wines for over a hundred and fifty years – providing incomparable value at every price point. Needless to say, Rioja wines are always a good buy, so add some more to your store!

You can check out the different varieties that Rioja has to offer – from luscious reds, to crisp whites and elegant rosés – in the Discover section of

Reaching Out to Consumers
As time, and money are finally stabilizing, consumers are becoming more optimistic, interested, and willing to purchase wines at higher price ranges than they did before. According to Christian Miller, Full Glass Research/Wine Colleagues, 29% of core wine consumers of all ages report buying less wine in the $20- $30 price range but, consumers report high levels of satisfaction in the $15-$30/ bottle price range, which is still an improvement from before. In order to keep consumers buying, we need to keep them interested and engaged in the market. Here are a few ways to do so by using social media:
1. According to Phillip James, co-founder and president of, businesses can create and profit from “Conversational Marketing,” including the new but already familiar social media. Tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp can only be effective for commercial entities if the embrace authenticity and grassroots growth.
2. Because wine is highly correlated with travel, food and luxury, make sure your website (and online communication) capitalizes on the “romance” of the wine lifestyle. By infusing these two together, your website can help create demand.
3. Integrating interactive web media is critical to achieve a six-fold goal: sustainability, customization, transumerism (consumers communications among themselves), business and leisure travel, geo-tourism, and value.
( 3.3.2010)

So, what else can we do?
It’s time to start listening and reaching out to consumers, inside and outside of the store. Social media is a great and easy way to communicate with your customers – so make sure you keep them in the loop with your activities and remember to share stories. Sharing wine stories with customers is a great way to recommend wines and make sure they keep coming back to your store. Did you know that vineyards in Rioja have existed since Roman times, but it wasn't until around 950 AD when the region and its vineyards were expanded upon and further developed? And the reason for this? Religion! Visit the History section on to know why and for more!

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.