The country’s leading wine region grew sales by 5.3% in value terms in 2015, resulting in an overall increase in sales for the third consecutive year running.
The director general of the Control Board, José Luis Lapuente, said: “Achieving this milestone in the current circumstances is due to the great strength of the Rioja brand and to the Rioja wine industry’s ability to adapt to market demands with a dynamic and innovative model, which offers both confidence and security to consumers.”
Figures released by the Spanish Wine Market Observatory reports show that Rioja exports amount to 41.3% of the total value of Spanish D.O wine exports, while in volume terms they stand at 31.4%.
Sales in the UK were strong last year, up by 2%, strengthening its position as the leading importer of Rioja with a total of 36.8 million litres in 2015 (34.5% of total exports).
Lapuente also highlighted “the good results of the D.O.Ca Rioja white wine strategy, which brought new grape varieties on board in 2007”. In 2015, white wine sales enjoyed double-digit growth for the second year in a row, ahead of other white wine exporting areas.
Another significant result, according to Lapuente, is the progress achieved by the region in its strategic objective of focusing sales on higher added value wines, including barrel-aged red wines such as those from the Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva categories.
Rioja Reserva sales experience the highest growth (up 3.5%), with 62% of the wines in this category being sold in foreign markets.
Red Crianza wine is the best-selling Rioja category. The distance between this red category, and the next best-seller, generic red, has increased.