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El Coto de Rioja jumps ship to Liberty Wines

Published:  18 July, 2016

Liberty Wines has bolstered its Spanish offering with the addition of El Coto de Rioja.

El Coto de Rioja has moved to Liberty Wines, after 25 years with Cockburn & Campbell.

Importer and wholesaler Liberty Wines has added El Coto to its books, and will now be responsible for distributing the wine in the UK.

Victor Fuentes, international general manager of the El Coto group, said the reason for the move was to diversify their reach into different channels.

He said: "We have had a long and successful relationship with Cockburn & Campbell, and would like to thank them for all they have done for El Coto over the past 25 years. Now, with all the changes happening in the wine business, it seemed the right time to move to someone like Liberty Wines who could extend our distribution through into different channels."

Founded in 1970, El Coto is a relatively young bodega yet one of the region's largest vineyard owners.

It currently has over 700 hectares of vineyard in production across the three Rioja DOCa sub-zones of Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa.

The reds hail primarily from their original estate at Cenicero in the heart of Rioja Alta.

In Rioja Baja, the Los Almendros estate in Ausejo has trebled in size over the past 10 years through El Coto's purchasing of adjacent small plots and is now the largest estate in the Rioja DOCa with 300 hectares.

Lying at around 450 metres' altitude, El Coto has re-introduced traditional hillside terraces for 10 hectares of Garnacha vines, as well as revived age-old varieties such as Maturana.

They have also invested in the new Carbonera estate at Bergasa to explore different terrains and experiment with the aromatic white varieties recently authorised by the Rioja Wine Board (such as Verdejo, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay).

David Gleave MW, managing director of Liberty Wines, said: "We are delighted to add El Coto de Rioja to our portfolio as the wines both complement and greatly strengthen our existing offering from Rioja.

"The breadth and depth of their vineyards is one of the most exciting things about El Coto, as it ensures consistency of supply and quality to our customers. We look forward to building upon the work done by Cockburn & Campbell."