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Sales of Rioja up 35% in China in 2015

Published:  01 April, 2016

Sales of Rioja in China rose by 35% in 2015, according to figures from the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja.

Rioja exported some 3.2 million litres to China last year, up from just 256,400 litres in 2008.

The rising sales have helped push the country to sixth place among Rioja's most important export markets.

The success of Rioja is in part due to a major marketing push undertaken by the region's marketing board across the Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year remains the most important traditional festival in the Chinese calendar, and represents a unique opportunity to boost sales.

Some 54 Rioja wineries participated in a holiday promotional campaign which saw specially created point of sale material go on display in over 180 wine shops inv36 cities throughout China.

Retailers were offered promotional kits that consisted of a wooden crate, two wineglasses and a corkscrew with the Rioja logo, as well as written materials.

The D.O.Ca. Rioja's efforts were also recognised in the annual awards given by Vinehoo, China's leading digital wine site, which has around 500,000 users.

The awards are designed to recognise companies and organizations which have contributed most to developing the wine industry and spreading wine knowledge in China.

Winners are chosen by a professional jury panel and through online consumer voting.

Rioja's efforts earned it a place in the top five generic promotion campaigns conducted by a wine-growing region in China in 2015, ahead of the likes of Champagne and Bordeaux.

China is a leading target market for Rioja, whose strategy is based on educating professionals and opinion leaders about its wines so they can in turn serve as influentials among Chinese sommeliers, retailers and consumers.

As part of that wider strategy and alongside consumer-focused promotions, Rioja also targets professionals throughits Rioja Wine Show, road shows with importers, seminars and wine-pairing dinners.