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In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Trade Events

Trade Special Events

Chatting with Chef Patterson

  Industry News


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:

Highlights from Wine Market Council's Sixth Annual U.S. Wine Consumer Trends Presentation

This year marks the seventeenth year of consecutive growth of wine consumption in the U.S., although growth rates did slow during the 2 recessions. One of the most interesting finds from the Wine Market Council's survey dealt with social media. The council revealed over half of all wine drinkers are on Facebook, 41% of core wine drinkers (those who drink wine daily, several times a week or once a week) use a smart phone, and of that segment, 39% have wine, food or restaurant applications on their phones, whereas only 25% of marginal drinkers (those who drink wine less than weekly) use a smart phone.

Continue reading Industry News

Rioja in the News
Rioja was recently featured on the final episode of "Vine Talk," Stanley Tucci's weekly wine-tasting talk show. Check out this video for a sneak peek of the show and stay tuned until it debuts on PBS on April 7!
CNBC's Wine Portfolio just wrapped up filming in Rioja, Spain. Visit for TV listings and tune into the show! You can also check out Wine Portfolio's live blog posts recounting their Rioja adventures on their Facebook fan page and on Twitter.
Rioja Information

2010 Rioja Wine Exports to U.S. Market up 33 Percent

In February, we announced a 33 percent overall increase in Rioja wine export volume to the U.S. market during 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. Total shipments from January to December 2010 reached 857,000 cases.

Export increases ranged across the four DOCa classifications, with the youngest Cosecha wines performing the highest with a 50 percent growth. The Gran Reserva category showed 34 percent growth, while the younger Crianza category grew over 21 percent. Rioja Reservas were also up nearly 12 percent from the previous year.

During 2010, Vibrant Rioja’s 400 trade and consumer programs grew to 1,000 in more than 27 states and 70 cities across the United States. Campaign partners include the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, Crown Wine Merchants, Binny’s Beverage Depot, Applejack Wine and Spirits, Canyon Ranch Hotel, and Landry’s, among many others.

Trade Events

Rioja Kick-off Tasting: Chicago
Monday, March 14th, 7pm-10pm
Nacional 27
325 W. Huron St, Chicago, IL 60654

RSVP Saurabh Kathuria: or call 773.844.1077

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting: San Francisco
Monday, May 2, 1pm-5pm
The Westin St. Francis
335 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting: New York
Thursday, May 5, 1pm-5pm
La.venue New York
608 W. 28th St, New York, NY 10001

These events are for press and trade only.

The end of April marks the 25th anniversary of the Sandestin Wine Festival in north Florida, one of Florida's greatest wine festivals. Taking place from April 28 - May 1, the four days of unique events include private dinners, distinctive wine auctions, and wine tastings showcasing more than 800 wines.

Rioja medal winners in the judging competition this year include:
Tempranillo category:
• Silver medal: Marques de Murrieta Reserva 2005
Spanish Red category:
• Gold medal: Bilbainas Vina Zaco 2007
• Silver medal: Campo Viejo Reserva 2006

Trade Special Events

Rioja Restaurants Sips & Snacks Promotion in Denver, Colorado

“I love the Sips and Snacks promotion. Each week, we got to create bite-sized discoveries that work well with the great Rioja wines we featured this year. It also provided a teaching moment for our cooks and chefs who learned the nuances of pairing food and wine. Guests who want to learn more about Rioja wines tasted 4 wines against each other and experienced how they worked with the elements of the various Rioja wines.”

-Chef Jennifer Jasinski, James Beard Foundation Awards semi-finalist

Chatting with Chef Patterson

We recently sat down with Chef Patterson at Chart House, and asked him for some tips on running restaurant promotions.

Vibrant Rioja: Why is it important for restaurants and for the restaurant trade to partner promotionally with wine regions?
Patterson: Our guests look for us to show them the new trends in food and wine. Teaming up and having events are the best ways to promote the next new trend.

Vibrant Rioja: Have you received financial success in promoting events?
Patterson: We always make our events very value driven, so we don't activate them, just to generate a lot of profit. We host them as a way to build excitement among the guests as well as the staff and the chefs. We all get energized when preparing for these events.

Vibrant Rioja: How do you train staff so that they are educated to suggest flavor profiles of wine and appropriate dishes?
Patterson: We utilize the wine representatives to schedule tastings. We keep the tastings down to just a few wines and foods, so they can absorb the information and really learn the choices we are focusing on. Keeping these tastings ongoing is the best way to keep our staff, educated, current and excited about what we do.

Vibrant Rioja: Why does Rioja work with your food at Chart House?
Patterson: Rioja has proven to be a perfect match for our restaurants. The positive buzz we have created with our wine events is amazing. We are just finishing up our Rioja wine events from California to Boston, New York, Florida and many cities in-between. The events were a big success everywhere we went.