D.O.Ca. Rioja increased its sales value in 2016 while consolidating last year’s record figures, with more than 386 million bottles per year sold in a hundred countries. According to the balance offered by the Control Board, results can be considered very satisfactory, given that, after a cumulative growth of 25 million bottles between 2013 and 2015, sales value adds up to an estimated 9% increase in the last two years. This improves the positioning of Rioja wines on the market, with a particular impetus for white wines, which once again achieve double-digit growth. This means the Region is attaining the priority goals set for this period.
One significant aspect is the growth of Rioja sales in the Spanish market for the fourth consecutive year, with a total of 178.7 million litres (up 0.67%). Rioja maintains its leadership in this market by a wide margin over other designations of origin. Also notable is the 10.7% increase in sales of white wines (18,7 million litres in 2016), a positive trend with an aggregate growth of close to 40% in the last three years, higher than for other regions specialising in whites. This confirms the success of the strategy promoted by Rioja to renew and diversify its range of white wines.
Sales of higher added value wines (Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas) did not show particularly significant changes with respect to last year. All three categories continued to grow in value, in line with Rioja’s strategy to specialise in this type of wine, which already account for about 65% total red wine sales.
Rioja wine exports reached a total of 103.77 million litres (down three from last year) after six consecutive years with an aggregate growth of 43%. This drop in export volume affected mainly the two largest importers of Rioja, UK and Germany, which together account for half of exports. In contrast, D.O.Ca. Rioja sales grew in six of its top ten importers, most notably China (up 15%) and Sweden and Ireland as well (up 8%).
According to the Spanish Wine Market Observatory, Rioja exports amount to 31.4% of the total Spanish D.O. wine exports. In terms of value, however, they account for 41.3%, as the average price for Rioja is 55% higher than the average for other D.O. wines and four times as much as the average price of exported Spanish wines. Looking at the top twelve Rioja export markets, the region is also performing better in value than in volume, accounting for 3.2% of total value of bottled wine imports and 2.6% of volume. Rioja prices are also 23.2% higher than the average.
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