Credit: Emilio García

Rioja is on a roll

21 July, 2021

Trading Up

We’re also seeing a willingness from UK consumers to trade up to more premium wines from the region as with the increase in at home drinking, many consumers have taken refuge in well-known quality favourites such as Rioja Reserva.

Aged wines that often fall under the more premium price brackets, such as Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva, are in a boom time and this is where wineries can really differentiate themselves from each other. To produce the highest quality Reservas and Gran Reservas, during the harvest Baron de Ley selects only the best grapes with the greatest ageing potential to put into their ageing programmes. You can find a vast array of Reservas and Gran Reservas, from the traditional styles to the more modern expressions, which is the approach taken at Barón de Ley. All offering something slightly different and yet all offering reassurance of the Rioja brand to tempt consumers up the quality ladder.

Barón de Ley Reserva is the winery's most iconic wine made from the region’s most popular grape variety, Tempranillo. This wine is a true representation of a modern Rioja Reserva with a perfect balance between fruit and complexity.

In the Pink 

The growth of sales in the UK is also driven by Rioja rosados. Lighter style rosé wines with fresh, crisp flavours, an appealing pale pink colour, and contemporary presentation designs, are enjoyed by both rosé lovers and Rioja fans.

Predominantly made with Tempranillo and Garnacha, Rioja Rosado is generally more intense and fruity, with lovely mid-palate depth and a dry finish. They can be more complex than some of the popular French styles of rosé, and these wines hit all the right notes in terms of flavour, balance, vibrant pink hue. They are certain to be in demand over the summer and autumn months, especially with travel and holidays still uncertain.

Wine and Food 

There is greater consumer interest in food and wine pairings as dining at home has been such a huge part of life during the pandemic. Lockdowns have created the conditions for continued demand for Rioja wines and the off-trade should ensure they offer a selection of price points, grape varieties and interesting brands and producers, to keep shoppers coming back for more and branching out into more unusual Rioja wines.   

In line with this trend, we have teamed up with Baron de Ley and Omar Allibhoy “The Spanish Chef” on a summer consumer campaign to bring the ‘essence of Spain’ to the UK, driving awareness of Spanish gastronomy and Rioja wines. The activity will highlight Barón de Ley’s provenance, heritage and passion and Omar will create a series of recipes, cooking tips and wine pairings, supported by instore activity, promotions on bottle necks, and an extensive digital campaign.  

Where next for Rioja? 

Rioja is Spain’s flagship wine region and showcasing alternative wines from the area and highlighting premium lines will help drive sales and maintain the success of this buoyant and lucrative sector of the wine market.   

There are some seriously under-rated, and underappreciated wines from the Rioja region that deserve more attention, promotion and shelf space to get them into the hands of consumers. It’s time to give these wines the spotlight they deserve and we know British wine drinkers are ready to explore Rioja wines even further wines and try new, lesser-known varietals and unusual blends. 

Winemakers and producers across the Rioja region are working hard to attract new consumers to Rioja wines by raising the standards and quality of the wines, while keeping them affordable and accessible. Top producers are investing in production processes, packaging, bottle and label design, sustainability initiatives, research into consumer preferences, and marketing initiatives to ensure their wines are progressive while remaining true to their heritage, and to ensure continued consumer appeal.    

At Kingsland Drinks, we are working hard with our partner producer, Barón de Ley, who are at the forefront of innovation and product development for the UK market. They are producing high quality, great quality wines that reflect the different terroirs in the region and continues to deliver wines that British consumers love.





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