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Rioja Recognises announces this year’s winners

Published:  02 November, 2017

The cream of the wine world turned up at last night’s Rioja Recognises event in London, where this year’s winners were announced.

At the event, which was launched three years ago to celebrate Spain’s flagship wine region and those having made a significant contribution to the category during the year, the Consejo Regulador of Rioja DOCa awarded four new industry ambassadors for their impact on the UK market and enthusiasm for the region: Abel Lusa, ETM Group, Berry Bros & Rudd and Alliance Wine.

Hailing from the Rioja region, Lusa received this year’s ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award for his continued support for Rioja within the Cambio de Tercio group, while ETM Group was recognised as ‘On Trade Ambassador of the Year’. Berry Bros & Ruddwas named ‘Off Trade Ambassador of the Year with Alliance Wine taking the gong as ‘Distributor of the Year’.

Hosted by Sarah Jane Evans MW, co-chair of Rioja 10x10 and one of the first winners of the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award, Rioja Recognises gave Consejo Regulador the chance to award those members of the trade who continued to support the region, and its activity in the UK, said general manager, Jose Luis Lapuente.

“Our ambassadors play key roles in strengthening the presence of Rioja in the UK wine trade and amongst consumers, and their commitment and enthusiasm is paramount to assuring the ongoing success of the category,” he said, adding Consejo Regulador was very much hoping to continue working with these as its campaign in the UK developed.

The UK remains Rioja’s largest export market, accounting for 33% of exports, with 58.8% being Sin Crianza wines, 13.2% Crianza, 24.5% Reserva and 3.5% Gran Reserva (Rioja Exporters Group stats to August 2017).

Alongside the awards ceremony, guests enjoyed a selection of top-scoring wines from this year’s Rioja 10x10 competition accompanied by an array of tapas dishes from Hispania, where the event was held.