Rioja's ambitious 5-year plan

The Spanish region wants to strategically prepare for the future and increase exports.

The Rioja region aims to increase sales to 312.5 million bottles by 2025 / Graphic: KPMG
The Rioja region aims to increase sales to 312.5 million bottles by 2025 / Graphic: KPMG

Sustainability, digitalisation, more wine tourism and an increase in exports – these are the key indicators of the 5-year plan for the Spanish wine region, which was presented by the Consejo Regulador at the end of March. The sizable targets: The volume of almost 230 million litres in 2020 is expected to increase to around 312 million litres in 2025. The export share is to be increased from 95.5 to 137 million litres, which is two percentage points, to 44 percent, the Control Council plans. White Rioja is expected to grow to twelve percent and Rosado to five percent of the volume.

The plan was developed in cooperation with all major regional stakeholders and industry representatives and in consultation with experts from the twelve most important export markets. The Consejo was also supported in its strategy planning by the management consulting firm KPMG.

The DOCa wants to position itself as “one of the most recognized wine regions in the world for its quality, uniqueness and sustainability, which succeeds in which succeeds in drawing in consumers."

To achieve these goals, the aim is to invest in marketing activities in countries with high growth potential, including China and the USA, as well as to expand its position in markets where Rioja is already established. These include the UK, Rioja's main foreign market, and Germany.

Less CO2, more tourists

Rioja also wants to become more involved in the field of sustainability. This includes, for example, a 50 percent reduction in the use of plant protection products and a ten percent reduction in the carbon footprint. Finally, the organic wine content is to be increased to five percent.

At the same time, the Rioja is to be established as a "benchmark destination" and set "international standards" for high-quality wine tourism. The region aims to attract around 1.3 million visitors in 2025. By way of comparison, in the crisis year 2020 there were 343,000 visitors, in 2019 there were 858,000. A third of wineries in the region, or about 250 wineries, are then to offer "visitor experiences."

Online sales are expected to quadruple by 2025. To this end, the region wants to establish itself more digitally, for example with online training programs and cooperations with virtual trading platforms in order to expand this channel.

"The new strategic plan illustrates the pioneering character of Rioja and aims to increase the value of the region and raise awareness of our wines, especially in the most important export markets," says Consejo President Fernando Salamero. aw

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