A total of 85 bodegas presented their wines in an edition which featured “next generation” Rioja winemakers
Trade professionals, consumers, and Web 2.0 technology took part in the event’s latest edition
The 4th edition of the Vibrant Rioja Grand Tasting event, the principal marketing activity rolled out by DOC Rioja in the US, brought together more than 250 professional buyers, mainly sommeliers, retailers and distributors, who were treated to a tasting of more than 200 wines from 85 bodegas, in an event which has become one of the most important in the US to feature wines from Rioja.
The event programme included a seminar led by prestigious wine educator, Marnie Old and talks given by young Rioja winemakers such as Raquel Pérez, from Bodegas Ontañón;
The event also boasted a tasting targeted at end consumers organised in collaboration with wine website Snooth.com, and aimed at raising funds for the non-profit organisation Make-A-Wish Foundation of Southern Florida from the tickets sold to the more than 300 visitors.
Andrew McNamara, Master Sommelier and Director of Fine Wine for Premier Beverage, took an active role in the day’s events by giving a local perspective on the current situation of the US wine market. In addition, the participating winemakers, together with Editor-in-Chief of Snooth Media, Gregory Dal Piaz, gave more weight to their debate on Rioja by employing Web 2.0 technology, which allowed the public to follow on Twitter via hashtag #riojabuzz.
The US has become a key strategic market for wines from DOC Rioja, whose sales have increased 43 per cent over the last three years, from 5.9 to 8.5 million litres. The North American country is the third largest importer of Rioja wines and is the country where the appellation has targeted the lion’s share of its marketing budget, around €4 million in 2011; thanks to which over the last two years it has been able to develop a successful points of sale positioning campaign.