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Ten is the magic number for Rioja in autumn tasting and awards initiatives

Published:  13 July, 2015

Wines From Rioja is introducing two new initiatives to raise the profile of the region in the UK market.

The Rioja 10 by 10 programme will showcase 10 wines in each of 10 categories chosen blind by a panel of industry experts. The selection of 100 wines will appear at a trade tasting in London on November 10.

It will take place biennially, alternating with the larger Rioja Grand Tasting.

The second initiative will go under the name of Rioja Recognises, and is an awards scheme to reward the region's supporters within the UK trade. Awards will cover a number of categories and focus on "outstanding contributions made to growing awareness and affinity for the region amongst consumers".

Rioja 10 by 10 and Rioja Recognises will be supported in the autumn by trade activity including tastings with independent merchants, sommelier trips to the region and the Shop Rioja promotion which encourages retailers to promote Rioja wines.

The activity comes at a time when Rioja has seen record global sales and UK value sales increase by 9.9%, giving it 4% market share [Nielsen, year to December 6, 2014].

Ricardo Aguiriano, marketing director for the Consejo Regulador said: "Rioja 10 by 10 is a new way of exploring the quality and diversity Rioja has to offer, and will allow the wines to really speak for themselves.

"The UK is a very important market for us, even more so after the spectacular growth we have experienced in the country over recent years, so we're delighted to be launching these two new initiatives.

"The Rioja Recognises awards are a fantastic chance for us to highlight key contributions made by the UK's on-trade over the last twelve months."

The selection categories for Rioja 10 by 10 are unoaked whites, oaked whites, rosado, unusual wines, generic wines over £15, crianza, reserva, gran reserva, wineries seeking representation, and reds made from non-Tempranillo varieties.