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Rioja was the first Designation of Origin in Spain to earn Calificada status. This was in 1991.
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Rioja wines continue to gain followers on Russian soil. This was never more apparent than last week at the fifth edition of the Rioja Wine Fair in Moscow, an event organised by the Regulatory Board which welcomed more than 1,000 people in a luxurious department store located opposite the Kremlin.
This type of action allows Rioja to make itself known in order to continue strengthening its position. The activity, for operators with and without an importer in the market and with the aim of providing wineries with the opportunity to meet the most renowned professionals and opinion leaders in order to achieve greater penetration in the country, took place in an even larger space this year in a new and spectacular location, the popular GUM department store in Red Square.
Numerous industry professionals came together to learn more about the latest trends in Rioja by visiting the stands of the 60 wineries that, together with their importers, were there to present over 300 different wines. Before the fair, a selection of importers, sommeliers, buyers, educators and catering professionals attended a masterclass. The masterclass was led by one of the greatest wine experts, Denis Rudenko, who provided extensive knowledge about the great Rioja white wines, a subject that captured the attention of the attendees, who showed special interest in learning more about the native varieties and above all white Tempranillo.
José Luis Lapuente, the General Manager of the Regulatory Board, held a private meeting with prescribers and bloggers where, besides getting to know the situation of the Denomination of Origin first hand, they had the chance to learn more about the Denomination of Origin, echoing the latest legislative developments and with live demonstrations on how Rioja wines can be paired with their most typical products. Lapuente valued positively “how well the fair was received; once again surpassing the records of recent years, tripling in just five years the number of exhibiting wineries and professionals attending.”
The Spanish ambassador to Russia, Fernando Valderrama, visited the fair and exchanged opinions with the numerous winemakers attending. The ambassador highlighted the impressive number of professionals as well as “the increasingly positive assessment made by the Russian market about Rioja wine and its history.”
Yolanda Martín, European Export Manager from Bodegas Franco Españolas, highlighted how well-attended the event was and how satisfied everyone had been. “I have honestly never seen so many attendees as we had yesterday… and that’s even though Moscow is a place that always shows the most interest in this type of event.”
Gonzalo Salazar de Burendes, manager of Bodegas Tarón, evaluated “the organisation of the event as very positive, which gave many Rioja wineries the chance to contact importers, making it easier for them to continue expanding their business in strategic markets for Rioja wines.”
Russia has established itself as one of the key markets for the sale of Rioja, following a very positive trend in recent years, in particular since it has had its own promotional campaign since 2014. The results in recent months confirm the enormous potential that the country has for Rioja exports and it is already the seventh biggest market.
Photo: Sergio Sachnovsky, Head of the Rioja promotional campaign in Russia, Jose Luis Lapuente, General Manager of the Regulatory Board, Fernando Valderrama, Spanish Ambassador to Russia, Alexandra Shevchenko, Rioja promotion team in Russia and Iñigo Tapiador, Head of Marketing of the Regulatory Board of the Qualified Protected Designation of Origin Rioja.
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