Wine from Rioja is the UK marketing arm of The Rioja Regulatory Council or Consejo Regulador de Rioja DOCa, the body responsible for the application and monitoring of legislation relating to the quality and standards of wines produced in the region, promotion of the image of Rioja wines and defence of interests of the sector.
October saw the first edition of Think Rioja, an all-day event and tasting which highlighted the wide variety of Rioja wines in Irish retail channels, reaching journalists, independent merchants and trade. The event also incorporated a masterclass hosted by the Irish Times’ John Wilson, which presented the current trends for modern Rioja winemaking and terroir-driven wines to an audience of sommeliers.
Rioja also organised masterclasses for students at culinary schools in the gastronomic hubs of Galway and Dublin, hosted by Elizabeth Fox and John Wilson. At the heart of this activity was the ambition to showcase the diversity of Rioja from white and rosé to Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. The activity strengthened Rioja’s roots in Ireland by engaging with up-and-coming chefs, sommeliers and front-of-house staff.
As the price of wine imports to Ireland has grown, the market has become ever more important and activities this year sought to keep Rioja’s high quality and premium wines at the forefront of people’s minds. The wide-reaching events of the campaign reinforced and enhanced Rioja’s reputation in Ireland, strengthening connections with the market which will be built upon with 2018’s activities.