RIOJA IS ALL THE RAGE
It may have fallen out of favor for many years but Rioja is making a big comeback here in the States. According to the Vibrant Rioja marketing campaign, there was a 33 percent overall increase in Rioja wine export volume to the US market in 2O1O, compared to the same period in 2OO9. Total shipments from January to December 2O1O reached 857,OOO cases. Export increases ranged across the four DOCa classifications, with the youngest Cosecha wines performing the highest with a 5O percent growth. Aged less than one year in barrel and bottle, Cosecha wines are often fresh, fruity and intended for everyday enjoyment. Aged for at least five years, the Gran Reserva category showed 34 percent growth, while the younger Crianza category (aged for a minimum of two years) grew over 21 percent. Rioja Reservas, aged for at least three years, were also up nearly 12 percent from the previous year. Over 61% of the total Rioja wine shipments to the US were aged, demonstrating the rising demand for matured, ready-to-drink wines. During 2O1O, Vibrant Rioja’s 4OO trade and consumer programs grew to 1OOO in more than 27 states and 7O cities across the United States. The multi-million dollar integrated campaign includes educational activities for consumers, trade and media, as well as an extensive advertising program. The trade initiatives focus on point of purchase, virtual retail and independent account support activities.