Rioja’s 100km of diversity: London Trade Tasting

Yesterday, over 200 members of the UK trade gathered at The View, London for ‘100km of Diversity,’ Rioja Wine UK’s largest ‘live’ tasting in nearly a decade. Trade guests included retail and commercial wine buyers, top sommeliers, educators, and key trade and consumer wine writers.

Over 280 Rioja wines were showcased by 69 producers who came over for the event to meet the UK trade and press, for many this was the first UK visit since the pandemic. Guests were invited to journey through Rioja’s three zones, spanning 100km from east to west, stopping off to explore the region’s diversity. A colourful array of Rioja wines were showcased, including Viñedos Singulares wines, Espumosos de Rioja, new releases and more from this distinct, much-admired region.

Winemaker Bryan MacRobert from MacRobert & Canals said “It was really good to be back in the UK to showcase our wines to an engaged, audience passionate about Rioja. The title of the event sparked my interest, it’s wonderful to see Rioja being recognised for its diversity – a great theme for a tasting. Rioja has a wealth of diversity stemming from its traditions, culture, heritage, and pioneering winemakers. It’s really positive to see the region encourage more styles and of course diversity ”.

In addition to the walk-around tasting, guests were also invited to attend two seminars, both fully subscribed in advance of the event. Tim Atkin MW hosted the first of the seminars, diving deep into one of Rioja’s most recently adopted classification categories, the Viñedos Singulares.

In the second seminar, Club O Editor Guy Woodward led a panel shining a light on Rioja’s latest trends, new styles, categories (VS) and much more. He was joined by a group of passionate Rioja admirers composed of Direct Wines Spain Buyer Sarah Everden, La Trompette’s Head Sommelier Donald Edwards and Spanish specialist retailer Shumana Palit of Ultracomida who together explored what makes Rioja so ‘Diverse, Distinct and Desirable’.

Donald Edwards said “Rioja deserves to be placed further forwards on the world wine stage. The region makes sensational, crowd pleasing wines. Spain is a very comfortable place for our customers but people are keen on learning more about the region. It is so exciting to see Viñedos Singulares gathering pace, quality will out; this category will be picked up by international collectors very soon – shining a light on the region as a whole! ”

Global Marketing and Communications Director, Iñigo Tapiador Larrañaga, commented “We were delighted to welcome so many wineries, importers, and trade guests today. A wonderful gathering in celebration of the people, culture, wines and diversity of Spain’s Finest region, Rioja; ”.

This follows last week’s 100km of Diversity trade tasting in Ireland, held at The Westbury Hotel, Dublin on Wednesday 16th November. In total over 210 Rioja wines were showcased by 49 producers with 70 members of the Irish trade attending. Rioja’s 100km of Diversity London and Ireland tastings were the first large-scale events with Rioja producers present in many years.

Rioja Wine UK will be releasing information on its exciting new marketing plans for 2023 very soon.

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