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Iberian Links Around the Web: Wine Tourism Winners; Spanish Marketing; Great Newsletters

DouroAlbeit a little delayed, we’ve finally put together a list of links worthy of your attention. And as always, please never hesitate to send news our way. We love to spread juicy Iberian wine and food gossip whenever possible.

Best of Iberian Wine Tourism

This past fall, the Great Wine Capitals of the World chose winners for their Best of Wine Tourism by an international jury in the categories of Accommodation; Architecture, Parks and Gardens; Art and Culture; Innovative Experiences and Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices; Restaurants; and Wine Tourism Services. If you’re interested in learning what standards were used in each category, please click here.

We felt that you all might be interested to see who won in both Spain and Portugal.

Oporto, Portugal – DOC Douro

Architecture, Parks and Gardens – Quinta do Seixo (Global Winner)
Wine Tourism Services – Winelands of Portugal / Douro by DOC DMC Services Events&Wine (National Winner)
Wine Tourism Restaurants – Castas e Pratos (National Winner)
Sustainable Wine Tourism Practices – Quinta da Baseira & Quinta de Freixo (National Winner)
Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences – Quinta Nova de Nossa Senhora do Carmo Lda. (National Winner)

Bilboa, Spain – DOC Rioja

Innovative Wine Tourism Experiences – Bodegas Muga, S.L. (Global Winner)
Wine Tourism Services – Rioja Alavesa Wine Route Association (National Winner)
Wine Tourism Restaurants – Remenetxe Restaurant (National Winner)
Accomodation – Hotel Villa de Ábalos (National Winner)
Art & Culture – Finca Valpiedra, S.L. (National Winner)
Architecture, Parks and Gardens – Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, S.A. (National Winner)

What Constitutes Innovative Spanish Wine Marketing?

As many of you know, we’re rather critical of Spanish wine marketing. Tending towards dissemination of information through disenfranchised forms of communication, Spanish wine gets to the consumer in a diluted and weak form. The debate has circled around whether Spain should collaborate as a cohesive team, pushing regional diversity as its selling point, or should they continue their strategy of leaving promotion up to each individual region? Mike Veseth of the Wine Economist took a few of his students with a load of wine and lifestyle publications – such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Wine & Spirits, Bon Appétit, and Gourmet – and requested of them a comparative analysis of advertising across various countries.

“I think that the current [Spanish] campaign is right for the times, but incomplete as an overall strategy. I hope Spain’s wine marketing gurus are prepared a follow up program that will educate and inform about the particular wines and regions (or an orchestrated set of private marketing campaigns by the major producers and distributors to accomplish the same thing).  It is important to drop the second shoe and not leave well enough alone.”

I don’t think Mark and I agree that the current campaign is right for the times. Despite its effectiveness in marketing Spanish wine as youthful and vibrant with diverse price points and various styles, I still feel like most people consider Spain as an “up and coming” wine producing country. Where we agree, is that effective education is severely lacking. And if education is lacking, then the campaign is not effective, in my mind, because consumers are not reaching beyond the famous few regions.

The Spanish Table’s Fabulous Newsletter

First off, we recently received a comprehensive newsletter from the Spanish Table Wines highlighting Spanish whites, a subject near and dear to my heart. Strangely enough, this made us question why we never told you about this newsletter earlier. It’s a great way to not only get the scoop on new regions, varietals and wines, but it’s also just good quality content. And no, they are currently not a sponsor 😉

Portuguese Wine is in the Top 10

Exciting news for all of us attempting to preach the good word about Portuguese wine to the world. This week, Nielson has just placed Portugal in the top 10 list of wines sold in the UK! Does this mean that people are waking up to its amazing quality and diversity? Fingers crossed! That said, we’re confident that the EWBC last October was what it took to push Portugal to its current ranking. I mean really, all us bloggers must be doing something right! 🙂 Ok, next up #9…#8…#7….

Till soon,

Gabriella and Ryan Opaz

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