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Adding value is key for Rioja wine

  • Íñigo Torres, José Luis Benítez, Rodrigo Miguel, Noelia  Oliver and Xavier Ybargüengoitia during the event.

A journey organized by Grupo Rioja deepens into the keys that allow to grow in value and interact in a market that leans towards the premium products.

Coinciding with its annual assembly, Grupo Rioja celebrated on the 20th of July a day in which value creation was planted as a future strategy for the wine sector with the objective of facilitating its associated wineries keys that allow them to face the 'premiumization ' in view of the reduction in world consumption that is leaning towards high-end wines. The event -organized in collaboration with Ramondin and the technical management of La Prensa del Rioja- analyzed strategies focused on positioning itself in the highest value segments.

At the inauguration of the day, celebrated at the Delicatto de Logroño restaurant, Fernando Salamero, President of Grupo Rioja, highlighted that Rioja has prestige in terms of region, wineries and brands, but the market is becoming more demanding due to profound socioeconomic changes that we are experiencing and it is necessary to add elements of analysis and tools to grow in value. Nagore Basabe, Commercial and Marketing Director of the Ramondin Group, recalled that more than 130 years have been accompanying the wineries in their quest for sustainability, image and prestige of their wines with the quality of their capsules and cierres. A good sample of value wines that confian in Ramondin were those that the firm offered in the aperitif. Wines of French origin were chosen for brand image, price positioning and product quality, qualities in line with the theme of the day, she said.

José Luis Benítez, Director General of the Spanish Wine Federation (FEV), analyzed the main threats facing the Spanish and world wine sector in the short and medium term, as well as the advance of currents and international trends against alcohol that occasionally drift into new regulations and additional work at the wine trade. He encouraged the wineries to take advantage of opportunities to increase the value of their products, such as offering information on the digital label, betting on sustainability or wine tourism.

Xavier Ybargüengoitia, former CEO Estates & Wines (Moët-Hennessy Group) and author of the book Creating value in the wine industry, assured that the highest or lowest profitability will depend on the strategic option chosen by the winery, but value creation is the only one that can provide a profitable and sustainable development in the long term, even though it requires more time. The expert explained that this process is based on three fundamental pillars: the development of a strategic plan and a business model that are ambitious but consistent with the possibilities of the winery; the permanent pursuit of excellence both at the product and operational level and the development of strong brands capable of transmitting the values of the winery.

Noelia Oliver, Business Development of Vignoblexport, a company specialized in the transport of wines and spirits around the world, showed effective instruments to enhance the wine through B2C. According to the expert, with wine tourism and electronic commerce at its peak, the wine industry has found new opportunities to reach consumers directly, offering them a unique and personalized experience. The success of this strategy largely depends on overcoming the specific logistical challenges associated with the transport of wine, compliance with regulatory requirements, temperature requirements, the selection of the transport operator or the best routes..., she explained.

The session was completed with the round table 'The creation of value in the wine and the perception of the market', in which the three speakers will participate together with Íñigo Torres, General Director of Grupo Rioja, and Rodrigo Miguel, Sumiller of Nublo Restaurant, that counts with a Michelin Star. They offered their point of view on the choice between volume and value -the commercial success of Rioja has been based mainly on offering the best quality-price ratio in the market- encouraging a change in strategy aimed at value, which results in key perception of the product in the market. Torres pointed out the need for each winery to adopt concrete strategies that allow them, as far as possible, to increase the prices of the wines. He highlighted that things are being done well, but the consumer is slow to understand the changes and it costs to change perception, especially in the national market. The experts are committed to educating, interacting and communicating the value proposition in order to develop a strategy that needs time to be recognized by the consumer and coincide with Rioja's potential to place itself in the poorest value segments.

The day closed with a lunch and tasting of French wines: Moët Impérial, R De Ruinart, Ruinart Blanc De Blancs, Chateau Minuty - Rose & Or 2022, all with Ramondin capsule.