2009 Rioja Vega Tempranillo from Spain Released Nationally in U.S.

Millennial Demand Driving Growth in Import Segment with Spanish Wines Ranking Highest for Quality and Value

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 29, 2011 - Constellation Wines U.S. announces the release of the 2009 Rioja Vega Tempranillo from Rioja Vega, one of the most historic and highly acclaimed wineries in Spain’s celebrated Rioja region. With a suggested retail price of $11.99 and national U.S. release in June 2011, the single SKU Rioja Vega Tempranillo will compete in an Ultra Premium ($10-14.99) Imported Spanish wine category. This category has experienced notable growth in recent years, with Rioja wines comprising 21% volume share.(1)

“The consumer demand for a quality Spanish wine at an approachable price in a vibrant, fruit forward style was unmistakable,” said Rebecca Stead, Marketing Manager for Rioja Vega. “Rioja Vega Tempranillo fulfills our ongoing commitment to bring consumers quality and affordable imported wines from exciting global wine regions.” 

Established in 1882, Rioja Vega is one of the oldest wineries in the Rioja region and one of only four ‘grandfathered-in’ before Spanish law prohibited the use of Rioja in brand names and on wine labels. Located in the Rioja Alta sub-region, the wine is predominantly Tempranillo (90 percent) blended with 10 percent Garnacha grapes to add color and palate weight. Minimal aging in French and American oak maintains a youthful wine while imparting structure and texture. The 2009 Rioja VegaTempranillo isrich with a palate of ripe yet refined red fruit flavors and pairs perfectly with many cuisines, particularly tapas.

Import wines are a key part of the growth strategy at Constellation Wines U.S. and the company has introduced several brands in recent years to offer consumers high-quality, affordable wines from world-class growing regions, including Spain, Germany and Argentina.

In 2010, imported wines saw significant growth with one-third of core wine drinkers (those who consume one or more drinks per week) choosing imported wines over domestic.(2) Millennial consumers (ages 21-33 in 2010) led the way in preference, with 39 percent of this category choosing imports over domestic wines.(3) Wines from Spain, Germany and Argentina topped the list as key selections for core Millennials. Notably, Spanish wines rank highest among the group with 75 percent favoring wines from this region for quality and value.(4)

Rioja Vega joins relative newcomers’ blüfeld and Diseño in an expanding import collection. Released in June 2010, blüfeld Riesling from Germany’s Mosel region quickly rose to the #3 brand in the highly coveted Super Premium Imported German Riesling category.(5)  blüfeld received the “Rising Star Award” from Beverage Information Group in 2011; an award given to brands that are less than five years old and have experienced notable growth. It also ranked #5 on the “2010 Top 10 New Table Wine Brands” by Symphony IRI Group and won Gold and “Best of Nation – Germany” at the 2010 San Francisco International Wine Competition and Gold from Robert Whitley’s 2011 Winemaker Challenge. The 2010 vintage is slated for release in July 2011.

From Argentina, Constellation released a new vintage of Diseño Malbec (2010) in May 2011 and will introduce an inaugural 2011 Torrontes in August 2011. Varietal wines from Argentina continue to take impressive strides, with a 36 percent sales growth for Malbec and 53 percent for Torrontes.(6) The Diseño brand showed an astonishing 112% percent sales growth in the Super Premium Imported Argentine Wine category.(7)

About Constellation Wines U.S.
Constellation Wines U.S. (CWUS) is the largest wine company in the U.S. based on sales dollar value.  The portfolio includes such brands as Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Robert Mondavi Private Selection, Blackstone, Ravenswood, Robert Mondavi Winery, Simi, Estancia, Wild Horse, Arbor Mist and Paul Masson Grande Amber Brandy. CWUS and Vincor Canada comprise Constellation Wines North America, a division of Constellation Brands, Inc., a leading international producer and marketer of beverage alcohol in the wine, spirits and imported beer categories. 

(1) Source: Symphony IRI Group, Total U.S. Food  Drug, Liquor, Convenience, Mass and Club 52 weeks, ending May 15, 2011
(2) Source: Wine Market Council: The U.S. Wine Market Consumer Trends & Analysis, 2011, page 95
(3) Source: Wine Market Council: The U.S. Wine Market Consumer Trends & Analysis, 2011, page 95
(4) Source: Wine Market Council: The U.S. Wine Market Consumer Trends & Analysis, 2011, page 99
(5) Source: Symphony IRI Group, Total U.S. Food  Drug, Liquor, Convenience, Mass and Club 52 weeks, ending May 15, 2011
(6) Source: Wine Market Council: The U.S. Wine Market Consumer Trends & Analysis, 2011, page 95
(7) Source: Symphony IRI Group, Total U.S. Food  Drug, Liquor, Convenience, Mass and Club 52 weeks, ending May 15, 2011

 

Media Contact: Katie Vandermause, Constellation Wines U.S., 415-912-3860