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In an historic precedent, the marketing program of Wines of Rioja, “Vibrant Rioja,” has formed an educational and promotional partnership with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB). The area in north central Spain is the first international wine region to team up with the state entity.
“Rioja exports to the United States grew over 40 percent this year, and we will continue to channel our efforts to promote their excellent quality, value and food-friendliness,” noted Ana Fabiano, trade director of the New York-based Vibrant Rioja campaign.
Pennsylvania currently has the greatest liquor-retail monopoly in the United States, with average annual wine sales of $760 million. The Keystone State is also the world’s second-largest liquor buyer, behind the Canadian province of Ontario.
Backed by an extensive point-of-purchase program, in addition to print, online, e-blast and radio advertising, the two-month-long promotion will bow Sept. 27 in the state’s 600 liquor stores (including those attached to supermarkets but with separate entrances, in accordance with Pennsylvania law) and include over 200 in-store tastings aimed at pre-holiday shoppers. Statewide staff training programs will be held in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and central Pennsylvania, underscoring the campaign’s emphasis on education.
“Vibrant Rioja’s main focus has always been to educate consumers and trade on the wines and region, since these efforts are so significant for customer loyalty and export growth,” explained Fabiano.
As well as purchasing the wines in stores or online at FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com, consumers can enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a grand-prize trip to Rioja. Other prizes include six bottles of Rioja a month for six months and a mohair blanket from the Rioja mountain village of Ezcarray. To integrate the program on all trade levels, the campaign will also involve restaurants in the coming months. Over 200 brands from Rioja, one of the great red-wine regions of the world, are available for purchase in the United States.
Over 400 integrated initiatives make up the 2010 Vibrant Rioja trade strategy, among them the POP program, a virtual retail program and independent account support. To find out more about Rioja’s trade program, contact Fabiano at (845) 255-2040 or [email protected] or visit www.vibrantrioja.com/trade.