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Rioja in the News: The TODAY Show!

Can’t get enough Rioja? Not satisfied with just having a glass – or two, or three – a day? Want to keep the conversation going at all times? Then Facebook and Tweet us and help us keep the conversation going! Do you have any questions about the region? Want to know what the best vintages are? Just want to share your stories with the rest of Riojaphiles out there? Make sure you Like us on Facebook and talk to us on Twitter @RiojaWine.

ABOUT VIBRANT RIOJA 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 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.

Rioja in the News: The TODAY Show!

We are all very excited that Rioja was featured on NBC’s TODAY show with our good friend and wine celebrity Gary Vaynerchuk!

Entitled “Savoring Fall’s Great Wines,” this segment could not have come at a better time for the U.S. market as we enter into high season for wine sales.  Gary highly recommends Rioja wines, because of their great value, superior quality and food-friendliness for all occasions. All “Mmms” and “Ahhs,” Matt and Ann couldn’t get enough of the sultry Rioja pick.

We are honored to have Gary’s blessing; he is the uncontested king of wine and of all things social media. If you’re looking for the latest in social media as it relates to the wine industry, be sure to check out our very own guru's weekly column on The Booze Bin. Topics include everything from common social media snafus and solutions for wine brands to QR codes revolutionizing the wine biz.

So what can we do?
This Rioja media cameo is exactly the kind of thing we want to share with our customers. By letting them know that certain wines were featured on popular shows, you can make an instant emotional connection and a bond with your customers. Of course, it helps when said wine is an excellent Rioja.

Rioja’s Growth in the Market

According to the Consejo Regulador D.O.Ca. Rioja, Rioja shipments to the U.S. increased nearly 30% during the first half of 2010.  Total shipments in Q1 and Q2 reached 5.4 million bottles.  The percentage growth rates for each Rioja category during Q1 and Q2 were as follows:
Crianza               +32%
Reserva               +13%
Gran Reserva     +27%

The increase in Rioja shipments to the U.S. signifies that the wines and the Vibrant Rioja campaign are performing strongly. Your commitment to the D.O.Ca. Rioja region and to the promotion of your Rioja brands are also major contributing factors to the rise in Rioja shipments and sales.  Thank you for the incredible work you have done this year.  We are very proud to represent your brands and to work with each and every one of you.

So what can we do?
Thank you to all who have made this market growth possible. We will continue our efforts to support you as much as we can. Remember, if you want help from us, just email or go to to see how we can help.

Consumers Showing Resiliency in Restaurant Spending

Restaurants sales -- often considered one of the tools of measuring discretionary consumer spending -- are showing that consumers are resilient. More and more restaurants are reporting more and more revenue this year, even though consumers are still a bit guarded about how they spend their money. It seems that this year is definitely one of recovery. (, October 2010).

So what can we do?
It is very nice to see numbers signaling that we are indeed on the road to recovery, especially in the on-premise side. After seeing how Rioja's numbers are up 30% from the same period last year, we can comfortably recommend that you keep suggesting and adding Riojas to your wine list. Consumers are still looking for value, and Rioja can offer value at every price point. Remember, if you want help with your wine list, you can always email us at

Restaurant Transactions Up

According to payment processor First Data's “September 2010 SpendTrend” report, the month’s year-over-year dollar volume grew by 7.6% and transactions by 9.2%. However, average tickets for all consumer spending was down 1.5% compared to a year ago. (, October 2010)

So what can we do?
There are a number of reasons why average tickets are down, including restaurant promotions and consumers being a bit guarded in their spending. However, the fact that transactions are up is a great sign. Keep increasing traffic by offering up more value and quality – two of Rioja’s core attributes.

Upcoming Events

Harvest Festival:
Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach
Address: 6801 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, FL 33141
Daily Happy Hour Oct. 21-Nov. 21, 5-6 pm: $5 appetizer special with $5 glass of Rioja, gift giveaways
Featured Rioja-paired Menu in the Canyon Ranch Grill: Wine by the glass specials and new menu items created by Chef Scott Uhlein

Tapas and Wine Tasting:
21st Century Rioja:
The immense diversity and value of Rioja, an educational seminar for the trade
When: November 9th, 2010
Where: Clio at the Eliot Hotel, 370 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
Phone: (617) 267-1607
Time: 2PM-4PM
Speaker: Brad Haskel
Attendees: Boston press, sommeliers, key retailers and distributors
RSVP Contacts: Ian Louisignau, Wine Director
Brad Haskel, Vibrant Rioja
Brand Profile: STAR CHEFS

The Vibrant Rioja team sponsored Wines from Spain’s pavilion at the Star Chefs annual International Chefs Congress (ICC.) The three-day culinary symposium showcased more than 70 of the world's most influential and innovative chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists and sommeliers presenting the latest techniques and culinary concepts to their peers. The lucky guests got to sample 20 different Rioja wines throughout the event. These wines highlighted the great value of Rioja wines with their highly-desired price-points. Rioja booth fans included Top Chef finalist Dave Martin, Iron Chef judge and wine writer Akiko Katayama and Belgium’s No.1 Chocolatier Dominique Persoone.

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!

How can Rioja help?
Whatever your area of food service, your wine program can be easier and more productive by working with Vibrant Rioja’s Food & Wine Partnering Program. Why?

  • Rioja wines are made with the Tempranillo varietal, which many chefs in the world believe is the best and most flexible food pairing varietal in the world.
  • Rioja wines are not released until ready to drink, so 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
  • The distinct price points and clear classification make them ideal for different positions on the wine list
  • When offered by the glass, Riojas can be priced to fit any budget or catering program
  • Rioja is a region equivalent with quality and prestige.  The name Rioja indicates quality your customer can “trust”.
  • Rioja CRIANZAS are one of the greatest wine values in the world.  They offer competitive pricing and complexity that other young wines just can’t compete with.

What can Vibrant Rioja offer?

  • 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.