Enrique Pascual García is the president of the Ribera del Duero Consejo Regulador. In the following Q&A he outlines his plans for promoting the northern Spanish wine region to the UK market.
Why now for the big UK push?
The UK is and has always been a very important market for our wineries. The Consejo Regulador is making a big effort to promote Ribera del Duero on an international level and we could not miss out on the UK being in our action plan. We know that the British consumer is very wine knowledgeable and can appreciate quality, which is why it is a priority market for Ribera del Duero.
So you’re aiming to go head to head with Rioja?
We want to support our wineries in their effort to be more present in the UK. For this reason we have established this promotional plan which we hope to be able to prolong in the coming years as we become an established brand in the UK. Our objective is not to compete with other Spanish wine regions but to be an alternative of high quality for consumers who are looking for the excellent attributes of a good Ribera del Duero.
What do you believe is Ribera del Duero’s unique selling point?
Our wines acquire their personality from soil with thousands of years of viticultural tradition, as well as years of climatological conditions that make each vintage a challenge. The result is red and rosé wines of high quality that leave an impression. Ribera del Duero is unique and deserves an effort to make the region and its wines known.
Why has the region gone under the radar thus far in the UK?
We are approaching markets one by one. The wineries have been marketing their wines in the UK for years. Our Denomination of Origin is quite young and continues to grow each year. Up until this point, we have tried to reconcile supply to the rising demand for our wines and we do not want to let go of markets that present an important potential for the future of Ribera. This is why we are investing in the UK.
How is the region doing in relation to the rest of Spain?
Keeping in mind the economic situation, Ribera del Duero is maintaining its sales and prices at a very stable level. This proves to us that despite the downturn, our consumers are faithful and are very willing to continue buying Ribera del Duero.
Are you continuing your marketing activity in the US?
Yes, we will continue to support the wineries in their efforts in America. Our campaign in the United States began five years ago and the results have been very positive. In the future, we will significantly increase our investment in the US market.
What aspect of Ribera does the campaign focus on?
In these first months we are focusing on bringing out the strong points of the region and carrying out activities that ultimately reach industry leaders and the wine trade. We can’t forget about consumers, which is why we also have activities planned that reach out to consumers but the starting point has to be trade.
And finally… what lies ahead for the region?
We are very optimistic and we know that thanks to the efforts of the wineries and winemakers, Ribera del Duero has come to be recognised as a quality brand. We will continue working towards being better each day.