Region shows no sign of slowing down as stateside demand for wines is on the rise
NEW YORK, NY (July 25, 2019) — With the arrival of Albariño Week in Spain (August 1-5) and National White Wine Day in the U.S. (August 4), Rías Baixas Wines has plenty to celebrate. In addition to a double-digit increase in exports to the U.S. over the past decade, the region and its signature varietal—Rías Baixas Albariño—has received an official “Very Good” rating for the 2018 vintage from the local Regulatory Council. This level of qualification is the second-highest the region can achieve. It indicates an official evaluation of quality based on technical findings carried out by the Certification and Control Body of D.O. Rías Baixas. The most recent report reveals that within the first five months of 2019, more than 50% of the wine released from the 2018 harvest has been rated and valued with a 1.7% growth in qualitative assessment as compared to last year.
Over the past decade, exports from the region to the U.S. have also outpaced the wine market with substantial growth in the premium sector. In a sign of ever-growing popularity with wine buyers and consumers, export volume to the U.S. grew 5% from 2017-2018, while value increased a significant 12% over the same period. This marks a decades-long discovery of Rías Baixas in the U.S., the #1 export market for the region with an impressive track record of 36% growth in volume since 2009.
Growth appears to be driven by the very best reason—namely, quality. Dave Yoshida, Master Sommelier, who is currently leading a master-level education series on the Rías Baixas region for the Guild of Sommeliers reports: “The Albariño wines of Rías Baixas are definitely on the radar of sommeliers throughout the U.S. Wine Directors are increasingly putting these wines on their lists of wines by the glass and bottle due to their consistent quality, high value, and wide appeal among customers.”
Yoshida also notes that Rías Baixas is effectively gaining share from other regions: “Rías Baixas Albariño has transcended its initial appeal on the market, competing directly with other quality wine regions making barrel fermented, crisp, aromatic, and even sparkling wine styles.”
In addition to a national education series with the Guild of Sommeliers, Rías Baixas Albariño was a presenting white wine sponsor at the 2019 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, one of many prestige events to showcase the region. Next, the region will sponsor several upcoming trade, media, and consumer events including TexSom, August 18-20 in Dallas, TX; and the Wines of Spain Great Match events in New York City and Miami this fall. For additional information, please email Stefanie Schwalb at [email protected].
Read more about the Albariño wines of Rías Baixas at www.riasbaixaswines.com.