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In This Issue:

Industry News

Rioja in the News

Rioja Information

Trade 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:


Off-Premise Wine Sales Up 3 % in September

Off-premise wine sales increased over 3 % in September, compared to the same time period last year, according to The Nielsen Company. In the 13 weeks ending during the same period (September 17, 2011), sales increased almost 4 %. Domestic wine outsold imports, increasing 5%, while imports fell 1.5%. The $20-plus and $9-$11.99 categories had the fastest growth in terms of value and volume: The $20-plus segment grew nearly 9% in value and 10% in volume, while the $9 and up category grew by 8% in value and close to 10% in volume. The $15-$19.99 price category showed a similar growth rate, increasing 7% in value and 8% in volume. The $0 to $2.99 and the $6 to $8.99 segments declined in sales by 3% and 5%, respectively.
(, October 2011)

Our Thoughts
The weak dollar is causing a difficult time for imports in the U.S., although consumption is still on the rise. Growth in the more expensive wine categories is proof that consumers are regaining some confidence in their spending in this particular category. However, we believe that discounts are contributing to this trend, and that consumers are still looking for good deals.

Consumer Spending Declines in September

Consumer spending is down from $74 per day in July to $65 per day in September, reaching the same levels as in March and April of this year, Gallup reports. The study looked at the overall self-reported daily U.S. consumer spending in stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online. People earning more than $90,000 a year spent $108 in September, $20 less than in July. Average spending fell from $63 to $59 for people earning less than $90,000.
(, October 2011)

Our Thoughts
Even though we’ve seen a steady growth in the wine market, the American economy in general remains unstable. Consumers remain insecure, so planning for both the best and worst case scenario is important despite positive projections about the wine industry’s future. Don’t forget that pricing is still playing an important role on consumers’ buying decisions.

Wine Consumption Increases among U.S. Hispanic Adults

According to a survey by Experian Simmons, wine consumption among the U.S. population is on the rise, especially among Hispanic adults. Since 2005, Hispanic wine consumption has grown by 34%, while non-Hispanic consumption has only increased by 14%. Averaging 26%, the consumption of wine among Hispanics is still more than 11% lower than among non-Hispanics
(East Valley Tribune, October 2011)

Our Thoughts
In a competitive market like the wine market, it’s important to maximize your profits. If you are looking to increase sales and market share, targeting programs towards the Hispanic population in the U.S. may be an important strategy.

Rioja in the News

Check out Vibrant Rioja’s latest media coverage:

Sommelier Lucas Paya reviews Rioja’s tapas culture in Food & Wine magazine’s “Tapas Trail” article. Read the full story.

Wine Spectator published a spotlight on Cune titled “Cune Imperial: A Benchmark Rioja.” writer Tom Mathews states “I think Rioja reaches full maturity much quicker than Bordeaux…but has the virtue of staying on its plateau for a very long time.” Read the full article.

Named “Bright Stars & Big Surprises,” Wine Spectator also featured a six-page spread on Spanish wines. Rioja is portrayed as remaining Spain’s biggest stage, unmatched for its diversity of style, its range of vintages in current release, and its historic prestige. Read the full article.

Rioja Information

Rioja at Total Wine

More than 130 Vibrant Rioja in-store tastings took place at 72 Total Wine & More stores across the U.S. last month.

This Vibrant Rioja display caught our eye at the Total Wine store in Chesapeake, Va.

Trade Events


Wednesday November 16, Noon-1:30pm, New York Marriott Marquis

Please join us for an intimate discussion about Tempranillo wines from around the world. Led by the world-renowned wine educator Kevin Zraly, a panel of international wine experts will examine Tempranillo’s various expressions and discuss the future of this Iberian-born varietal.

Guests will have the opportunity to taste some of the winning wines, selected through blind tastings by the judging panel of 25 winemakers, wine journalists and sommeliers. We will reveal these winning wines, among all international submissions from 13 different countries including Spain, France, Portugal, Mexico, Thailand and Greece among others.

More information and RSVP contact info.

Rioja Retail Focus in Boston

The Vibrant Rioja campaign partnered with Bauer Wines & Spirits, a Newbury Street institution since its opening in 1960. For the entire month of October, Bauer Wines highlighted the Rioja category of its Spanish section, accompanied by a discounted Rioja sampler case. A window display and complimentary kick-off tapas and wine tasting supported the retail partnership.

Howie Rubin, wine manager of Bauer, sees a big potential in Spanish wines: “I like to think that Bostonians are more open to Spanish wines. We have a lot of well-traveled clientele, but Boston also has a large international community. Riojas are asked for more frequently than ever.”

To view all upcoming events, please visit the Vibrant Rioja web site
Trade Special Events

Rioja at Great Match New York

This year, Vibrant Rioja showcased 47 different wines from 29 bodegas at Wines from Spain’s Great Match New York event. Held at the Metropolitan Pavilion in early October, the one-day trade tasting offered the best wines Spain’s denominations of origin have to offer. More than 300 press and trade attendees stopped by the Rioja lounge to taste a wide range of Riojas, including the recently introduced Tempranillo Blanco varietal. A consumer tasting with 270 attendees concluded the event.

Other Information

Rioja Supports Retail
Interested in creating a rich Rioja program to offer your clientele at your store, restaurant or bar? Vibrant Rioja resources are vast and attractive and can generate a dynamic and prosperous program for your establishment with a wine category on the rise.  Please contact for further information.