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June 6, 2018

Rioja captivates the Texans


© 2018 Galdones Photography

More than 1,300 consumers and 35 wineries took part in the fourth edition of Rioja Wine Week in the United States.


Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, the event organised in Houston by the Control Board, provided the finishing touch to an intensive week of promotional activities by the Region.

Rioja is more popular than ever… and if you don’t believe us, ask the Texans!

While last week Rachel Lindsay, America’s sweetheart, the media-friendly lawyer from Texas who stars in ABC’s successful reality TV show The Bachelorette, relived (this time away from the microphones and photographers) her world-famous romance with current fiancé Bryan Abasolo and strolled anonymously through the streets of our Wine Region, her Texan compatriots were not far behind. That’s why the ten million viewers who were transported through their television screens to the vineyards and nooks and crannies of Rioja in the series finale demanded to have their own personal taste of the region back home, and their wish became the Designation’s command.

As part of the Control Board’s promotional and communication campaign, Houston played host to Rioja Week. A few days in which Rioja wines became the real stars of the Texan social scene thanks to promotional activities and tasting sessions held in various establishments of the United States’ fourth biggest city.

The organisation put the finishing touch to the week-long promotion with the popular initiative Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival, an activity it repeated for the fourth year running following hugely successful previous editions in the cities of Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. On this occasion, the annual event attracted more than 1,300 wine lovers at one of Houston’s leading hotspots, the emblematic building of The Corinthian.

The event was divided into two sections: the first one aimed at trade professionals, featuring a total of 35 Rioja wineries, and the second more festive public event. The professional session gave this collective a first-hand insight into the wines presented by the wineries and the director of the point-of-sale program, Ana Fabiano, Rioja’s ambassador in the USA, gave two seminars on the diversity and singularity of wines from Rioja and its Reservas and Gran Reservas.

As on previous occasions, the event enjoyed the support of the food event organiser Cochon555 and the invaluable collaboration of 20 acclaimed chefs from prestigious restaurants across the whole gamut of the American culinary panorama, such as Ritual (Felix Florez), Izakaya (Jean-Philippe Gaston), Americas (David Cordua), Cake & Bacon (Jeff Weinstock), BCN (Luis Roger), Helen Greek (William Wright), El Mesón (Pedro Ángel García), Poitin (Dominick Lee), Navigation (Alex Padilla), Acorn Seekers (Sergio Marsal), The Four Seasons (Rafael Gonzalez), Southern (Brandi Key) and Landry’s (Jon Luc Royer, Dan Bridges and Mike Frietsch). In addition, well-known media stalwarts such as the Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Houston Business Chronicle and FOX came along to the party and reported on it.

The big stars of the party were Rioja wines which, through the different spaces devoted to training, tasting and gastronomy, in a relaxed and entertaining atmosphere, managed to convey the quality of the region to Texan society, an emerging market where the Rioja brand is securing a strong foothold with excellent potential for development. In the US market, the third biggest destination for Rioja wines after the United Kingdom and Germany, the wines of the DOCa Rioja are having a big impact and becoming more and more popular and appreciated.

José Luis Lapuente, the general director of the DOCa Rioja, noted that “with this action, apart from wanting the attendees to have a really good time and get to know Rioja’s wines, we were also looking for brand exposure, because at the end of the day we’re not just looking to provide an enjoyable and memorable occasion, but also for it to generate an impact and even further underline the quality and dynamic nature of Rioja”. After a week packed full of activities in Houston, the ‘Rioja Wine & Tapas Festival’ was the “the finishing touch to continue highlighting the region’s wines and showcase a very interesting offering that allows us to harbour excellent expectations for this attractive State, whose area is bigger than the whole of Spain.”

Part of the money raised from this fourth edition of the event will be donated to support the Houston farmers who were affected by Hurricane Harvey last November.


View video of the Houston event

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