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Rioja launches education programme for UK sommeliers

Published:  27 March, 2024

Launching for the first time this summer, Rioja Wine UK has opened applications for its Rioja Somm’er School, an educational programme based in Logroño aimed exclusively at UK-based sommeliers and on-trade buyers.

Taking place between 24 and 27 June this year, the Rioja Somm’er School is a three-day trip to the region complete with winery visits and tastings. Eight sommeliers will have the opportunity to visit leading wineries across the region’s three zones, meet with producers and try new styles and old favourites.

Applications are open now until 3 May 2024. Sommeliers will be required to answer a short questionnaire detailing their dream Rioja wine list and why they wish to attend the school.

Rioja DOCa’s global marketing and communications director Iñigo Tapiador said: “The on-trade is a key part of our overall marketing strategy – sommeliers play an important role in communicating the region’s fine wine credentials to consumers. 

“We are looking forward to welcoming the group to Rioja for the Somm’er School, showcasing the great diversity of the region and sharing the passion and commitment of Rioja’s winemakers and winegrowers. We encourage all those interested to apply.”

Successful applicants will be notified by 17 May, with the school taking place between 24 and 27 June 2024.

The Rioja Somm’er School is the second educational programme the region has launched this year. Earlier this month the DOCa partnered with the Rioja Wine Academy for 'Rioja Camp', a four-day educational programme comprised of seminars, tastings, dinners and vineyard visits.

Rioja Camp will take place three times throughout 2024 in May, July and November, with a total of 75 spaces open to wine professionals globally. 

The camp is aimed at wine experts with an educational background who wish to deepen their knowledge of Rioja and its wines, including internationally recognised wine educators, sommeliers, wine buyers and communications professionals.