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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:


Nielsen: Table Wines $20 And Up Continue To Drive U.S. Market
According to The Nielsen Company report, table wine sales in the U.S. grew 3.4% in volume and 4.5% in value in the 52 weeks ending in October 15. Wines costing $20 or more enjoyed the most significant growth, 11.1% by volume and 12.3% by value in the same period, outperforming all other price segments. On the other hand, wines costing $9 or less lost 1.7% by volume and 1% by value. Domestic wines grew 4.4%, outperforming imports, which grew 0.5%.  New Zealand and Argentina enjoyed the fastest growth, 29.3% and 19.5% respectively, while Australia lost 4.5% by volume and 6.8% by value in the past 52 weeks.  (Shanken News Daily, November 2011)

Our Thoughts
Consumers are feeling more confident and are starting to spend more on wine. It’s important to remember, however, even though confidence and spending is higher, consumers are still not as willing to trade up on wines in restaurants and bars. The wine industry is recovering but the economy is still unstable.

Stricter rules considered for wine labels
A new federal regulation for wine labels is under consideration in the U.S. The regulation proposes stricter definition on terms such as “estate,” “reserve” and “vineyard.” According to the regulators, consumers are not familiar with terms used in wine labels and advertisements, which could mislead and confuse them.  The regulation would control the use of those words, guaranteeing consumers reliable information about the wine origin. The Wine Institute points out the impositions could undermine U.S. dealings with the European Union, as their labels typically use traditional expressions. There is also a proposal that states labels should have “serving facts” information concerning fat, calories, carbohydrates and protein. Winemakers argue that the extensive and costly process of testing and relabeling wines would undermine industry growth and innovations. (The Miami Herald, November 2011)

Our Thoughts
This new regulation would impact the entire wine industry. We will continue to monitor the situation, so you can be best prepared for any new actions and expenses as a result. 

Alcohol sales projected to rise slightly in 2012
According to the forecast of Technomic Inc., bar and restaurant alcohol sales will increase in 2012. Consumers are drinking more and according to the report, sales are predicted to increase 2.4% in the next year. The report projects a 3.5% growth in wine sales. Beers and spirits are also expected to increase, 2.2% and 2.3% respectively. (Los Angeles Times, November 2011)

Our Thoughts
We see a brighter future for the wine industry, but it’s still far from ideal. To keep growing and encourage market recovery, focus on solid customer relationships, pricing and strategies, and promote your best deals to keep your customers satisfied. They will remember you when brighter days return.

Rioja in the News

In a recent edition of the Chicago Tribune, Bill St. John highlighted Rioja reds as “the world’s best value in elegant, delicious aged-for-you red wine.” Titled “Unfamiliar territory – delve beyond tried-and-true for good wine with good value,” the story focused on varietals and wine regions with great quality and great consumer value. Our favorite quote: “Bless the bodegas of Rioja. They baby-sit their red wines for you, for years upon years, then sell it to you with nary a markup for all that time.” Read the full story.

The winter issue of Wine & Spirits magazine is studded with “Best of 2011” rankings. Rioja’s López de Heredia was named one of the best international wineries of the year. Rioja Crianzas stood out in the “100 Best Buys” section, with three wine recommendations: Carlos San Pedro Pérez de Viñaspre 2006 Rioja Alavesa Viñasperi Crianza, Ramón Bilbao 2006 Rioja Crianza, and La Emperatriz 2006 Rioja Alta Finca La Emperatriz Crianza. Read the full story.

Titled "Spain's Gain," a recent issue of Market Watch portrays the success of Spanish wines in the US market. On- and off-premise experts praise Rioja for offering tremendous value at all price points. By turning to a Spanish wine, consumers are finally allowed to "buy top-quality, sufficiently bottle-aged wines without taking out a second mortgage." As the feature story points out, Rioja exports to the US have increased by over 28 percent in 2010. Read more.
Rioja Information

Rioja Friends & Family Promotion

Are you participating in the friends and family promotion? You and your family can win an iPad2, a pair of Manolo Blahniks, $250 gift card and more! Simply forward this newsletter to your friends and family and have them click this link! Merry Christmas!

Rioja in the Spring

If you’d like to experience the vibrancy and passion of Rioja in springtime, why not join the Great Spanish Wine Adventure in June 2012, run by Iberian Wine Tours and jointly hosted by Jessica Bell of My Wine School in Chicago. The tour features a range of visits to the finest modern and traditional bodegas in Rioja and a Michelin dinner in the tiny Riojan village of Daroca. Read more details or e-mail
Trade Events

Rioja Wins Big at Tempranillos al Mundo 2011

Rioja’s Mirto 2006 de Bodegas Ramón Bilbao took home the highest, “Great Gold” medal at the seventh annual Tempranillos al Mundo international wine competition this mid-November. Held in the U.S. for the first time, the wines were judged by an expert panel of 25 acclaimed winemakers, wine writers and sommeliers.

Facing fierce competition among over 400 Tempranillo submissions from around the world, Rioja won the only Grand Gold, 29 gold and 30 silver of the 125 medals awarded. Tempranillo al Mundo aimed to showcase the diversity and richness of Tempranillo; to encourage quality and improve tasters' knowledge of the varietal; and to award producers and oenologists.

More information on the event and the awards

Retailer Spotlight

Boston wine retailer Bauer Wines & Spirits held a fantastic Vibrant Rioja promotion during the month of October, featuring several Rioja tastings and spotlighted wines. General Manager Howard Rubin describes the promotion:

“In the two hour period of the kick-off Vibrant Rioja party, we saw more than 200 people walk through our doors. There was a point where we had to direct traffic flow. Judging by the feedback, sales and continuous interest in the region, Rioja wines were the big winner of the evening.  Not a single bottle of the non-Rioja Spanish wines were sold during the event. Over the course of the month, we sold more than 30 cases in total of these wines.  We were wowed at the amount of repeat customers for Riojas (some who normally only shop for Italian or French wines). Because Riojas are so versatile, they are an easy sell once people know them and have tried them.  Working with Vibrant Rioja to get the word out about these great wines has been a positive experience and has helped sales tremendously. Now that the month of October has come and gone, we still see an increased interest and purchase of Riojas.” 

If you are interested in creating a Vibrant Rioja promotion for your on- or off-premise location, contact Viviana Pinzon at We look forward to partnering with you!

Rioja Around Town

Wine retailer Binny’s recently held several Rioja tastings for consumers at locations around Chicago. Enjoy some photos of the events!

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

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.