Here at Charles Rose we love Rioja. So it was no surprise to us that The Telegraph recently reported that one in twenty of all bottles sold in the UK is Rioja.
Spain has more land dedicated to vineyards than any other country in the world, just under 1.2 million hectares. Rioja is a beautiful region with DOC status, sitting just below the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river. 34% of all the wine produced in Rioja ends up in the UK, thats around 36 million litres, 10% more than the previous year!
We are Rioja’s biggest export market, with sales of Rioja accounting for £220 million, around 4% of the total UK wine market. Why? Because we love it, and our appetite is growing!
The popularity of tapas is on the rise, so says the Telegraph, bringing with it a surge in demand for Rioja. Personally, we think the quality of wines coming out of Rioja have never been better. Renewed interest in Rioja will only bring greater consumption as people discover or rediscover just how good it is.
Rioja is also fantastic value for money. Around a third of all the Rioja consumed in the UK is Reserva, which can be as much as ten times cheaper than an equivalent Bordeaux. The Telegraph quite rightly raises the question of whether or not Rioja sales might soon outstrip sales of French wines. Bordeaux has unparalleled heritage, but this comes at a price!
A new generation of younger wine consumers faced with a choice between a cheaper Spanish wine and a much more expensive French wine might well save the latter for a special occasion.
So if you haven’t yet jumped on board the good ship Rioja, we suggest you join us and pick up a bottle! Cheers!
(Just in case you were about to google ¡Ay, caramba!, it is Spanish, wikipedia says so.)