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In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Trade Events

Trade Special Events

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  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:


Restaurant Guests Notice Increase in Prices, Decrease in Portions
Recent survey results from research firm Technomic Inc. reveal that consumers are wary of recent on-premise adjustments to pricing and portion size. Sixty-two percent of consumers believed restaurant prices increased during the past three months and thirty-two percent reported smaller portion sizes. Restaurants are struggling to balance responses to commodity inflation and consumer demands.
(Nation's Restaurant News, May 2011)

Our Thoughts
Carefully consider how a combination of efforts can effectively protect margins. Try creating new items to fit new price tiers. If you reduce portion size, try making enhancements or adjustments to current offerings to balance out the difference in size. If you do increase prices, make sure you keep some value items on the menu.

Disputes over Stricter Wine Labeling Rules
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau is considering proposals for more careful regulation of select wine label terms. Wine label disputes are nothing new. The current debate is over term definitions (for terms such as "reserve," "select harvest," "barrel fermented," and others) and the degree of rhetorical freedom available to winemakers. Regulators have not provided information on when and how this issue will be dealt with.
(Chicago Tribune, May 2011)

Our Thoughts
The Wine Law Conference, hosted by the University of California, Davis, School of Law, will connect government regulators, producers and attorneys from the E.U. and the U.S. during the first week of June. The conference will deal with the recent change in E.U. labeling laws and how to make the wine label laws of E.U. nations and the U.S. more compatible. Check your wine news sources later in the month for updates following the conference.

America Forecasted to be Top Consumer of Table Wine Next Year
Vinexpo's recently released study projects that Americans will purchase nearly 2.7 billion liters of wine, or 300 million standard cases, in 2012. The U.S. is already the world's number one retail market for "still light" or table wines as well as the greatest total consumer of wines priced over $10, according to Vinexpo. Still, we only rank 15th worldwide in per-capita consumption.
(Beverage Media, May 2011)

Our Thoughts
The American wine market will continue to grow; consequently, competition will also grow. Attracting and retaining consumer interest will be a challenge for all.

Rioja in the News

Our San Francisco and New York Grand Tasting events were highlighted by wine and culture bloggers across the country. Steve Heimoff, wine blogger and wine editor at Wine Enthusiast magazine remarked, "Yesterday’s big Rioja tasting, sponsored by the Vibrant Rioja U.S. campaign and held on the 38th floor of the St. Francis hotel on a perfectly sunny day, was one of the most information-rich, educational wine seminars I’ve ever attended."Read the full blog post “A Rioja Primer”., a pop culture website, gives you “5 Reasons You Should Be Drinking Wine From Rioja.” Have a look.

Rioja Information

3rd Annual Rioja Grand Tastings Highlighted Tempranillo
For the third time in New York -- and for the first time in San Francisco -- the Vibrant Rioja campaign celebrated the most comprehensive showcase of Rioja wines in the country. Titled “The Heart of Tempranillo,” this year’s Grand Tastings focused on the increasingly popular varietal and king of Rioja wine grapes, Tempranillo. More than 600 wine industry professionals followed the invitation on the East and West Coast and tasted their way through over 300 Rioja wines. Preceding the Grand Tastings were seminars led by wine educator Marnie Old, who discussed Tempranillo and Rioja’s remarkable value and versatility with winemakers Cristina Forner from Marques de Caceres, Diego Pinilla from Bodegas Bilbainas and Rafael Vivanco from Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco. Attendees also enjoyed a special treat: a taste of the newly-introduced Tempranillo Blanco.

And, to add to the list of firsts, for the first time ever, the Vibrant Rioja team opened the New York Grand Tasting doors to consumers in partnership with Snooth, treating more than 230 local wine lovers to a vast Rioja selection, a global food lounge and a DJ.

The New York Grand Tasting was broadcasted live on the web, and over 5,200 people from all over the world tuned in. If you couldn't attend the event, you can watch the seminar and interviews with winemakers and key influencers.

Trade Events

TAPAS Grand Wine Tasting
The Tempranillo Advocates, Producers and Amigos Society (TAPAS - is hosting the most extensive annual tasting of domestically produced Spanish and Portuguese varietal wines in North America, for the fourth year, in San Francisco. Trade and consumers will have the unique opportunity to sample wines from 40 participating wineries, in a casual walk-around setting.

This year the event will be held at the Fort Mason Herbst Pavilion on Sunday, June 5. The event schedule is as follows:

This year, TAPAS welcomes Chef James Campbell Caruso from La Boca Restaurant, Santa Fe, NM, who will be serving a tapa during the event. La Boca was chosen “Santa Fe’s Best Tapas” by Travel and Leisure, and has been featured on "Giada's Weekend Getaways" on the Food Network. Also enjoy flamenco and classical music by guitarist Jesse Christian Hendricks. The event will include a silent auction benefiting the Greater Bay Area Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Other Events

El Coto de Rioja Presents the Third Annual Paella Parade in Chicago
For the second year, the El Coto de Rioja Paella Parade, a celebration of Spanish food and culture, brings the Fiesta back to Chicago. Following last year’s successful Paella celebration, ten local chefs and restaurateurs will come together again to compete and showcase Chicago’s top Paella-making skills, vying for the titles of Best Use of Ingredients, Most Creative, Prettiest and the top prize: Paella Parade Pleaser. Guests will indulge in each chef’s unique version of Spain’s most beloved signature dish during the competition while sipping on delicious wines from El Coto de Rioja.

Whole Foods Lincoln Park
1550 N. Kingsbury Street
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 587-0648
Thursday, June 23
$35 per person / $60 for two
Purchase tickets