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Spanish Wine Academy Crowns First U.S. Winner of ‘Spanish Wine Master Competition X 100 Years’ by Ramón Bilbao

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The Spanish Wine Academy, a project created and driven by Ramón Bilbao hosted the first-ever U.S. Spanish Wine Master Competition at Mercado Little Spain’s Spanish Diner in NYC on Thursday, May 16, 2024 

New York, NY, May 23, 2024 – The Spanish Wine Academy proudly announces Alberto Martinez Interiano–wine communicator, writer and educator based in Seattle, WA–as the first U.S. Spanish Wine Master after winning the 2024 Spanish Wine Master x 100 Years competition driven by Ramón Bilbao. The competition made its U.S. debut on Thursday, May 16, 2024 at Mercado Little Spain’s Spanish Diner. It was judged by Ramón Bilbao’s Chief Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida alongside Director of Wines from Spain Katrin Naelapaa and Wine Director of José Andres Group Jordi Paronella. Martinez Interiano received the grand cash prize of $5,000 USD and will proceed to battle for the title of Global Spanish Wine Master in the grand finale in Spain this fall at Ramón Bilbao’s centenary celebration. 

The Spanish Wine Master x 100 Years competition was open to Spanish wine enthusiasts, educators and advocates interested in showcasing their expertise and tasting skills. It aimed to redefine the way we understand and experience wine, while putting the spotlight on Spanish wine. In the first round over 180 participants took a one-time online timed test consisting of 50 questions about geography, history of wine, grape varieties, winemaking and tasting notes where they had to guess the style of the wines described. On April 29th the top

30 semi-finalists competed in two, intense challenges during a hybrid-format Livestream event: a blind tasting and a fast-paced test of visual dexterity. 

Ten finalists from across the country moved on to compete in-person in New York City at the grand finale. The competition and final judging took place in front of a live audience followed by a celebratory mixer with authentic Spanish tapas by José Andres and a special selection of 

Ramón Bilbao wines. Guests had the opportunity to mingle with Chief Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida, industry experts and the ten finalists. 

“We truly enjoyed hosting the competition that brings the world closer to Spanish wine in the U.S. for the first time ever in honor of the 100th anniversary milestone Ramón Bilbao,” says Chief Winemaker of Ramón Bilbao, Rodolfo Bastida. “Alberto revealed his expertise and deep knowledge of Spanish wine while impressing myself, Katrin and Jordi, who had a fantastic time deliberating during the competition and crowning the first U.S. Spanish Wine Master.” 

Martinez Interiano teaches WSET and Wine Scholar Guild courses at several wine schools in the Pacific Northwest and runs a consultancy connecting Spanish producers to U.S. importers. He also judges at international wine competitions and his work has appeared in SOMMTV, The Vintner Project, and The Italian Wine Podcast. Alberto holds the WSET Diploma and is a certified Rioja educator, Sherry educator, and Italian wine ambassador. He loves to travel to wine regions worldwide and is particularly fond of classic Rioja, all Sherry styles, and Galician wines. Learn more about his wine and travel at vinointeriano.com and follow him on Instagram @vinointeriano. 

“The Spanish Wine Master competition was an amazing experience! It was a real privilege to have the opportunity to test my knowledge of Spanish wine, food and culture with some of the top experts of Spanish Wines in the U.S.,” says Alberto Martinez Interiano. “I commend Ramon Bilbao for their exceptional work in organizing the competition and for their dedication to promoting the rich diversity of Spanish wines.” 

Martinez Interiano, along with five other winners from participating countries (UK, Spain, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and Mexico), will be invited to the grand finale in Rioja in October 2024 to compete for the official title of Global Spanish Wine MAster and an additional prize. In the past winners have had the opportunity to produce their own wine at Ramón Bilbao alongside Rodolfo and the technical team. 

Ramón Bilbao took a leadership role in becoming the global advocate for Spanish wines by designing the Spanish Wine Master competition and online academy to share everything there is to know about Spanish wine. The Spanish Wine Academy has brought together different experts and specialists who help share a holistic vision and multidisciplinary on viticulture in Spain through the different D.O.s and indigenous varieties that make up the region, as well as the traditions and winemaking methods that make Spain one of the largest and most prestigious wine regions in the world. This year, Ramón Bilbao, founded in Haro,

Rioja, in 1924, is celebrating an impressive milestone of its 100th anniversary. The Spanish Wine Master competition x 100 years is one of many activities organized by Zamora Company around the globe to recognize the evolution and success of Spanish wines. 

About Spanish Wine Academy 

The Spanish Wine Academy is a project created and driven by Ramón Bilbao to bring the world closer to Spanish wine–from wine aficionados to newcomers alike– through training, promotions and education. The Spanish Wine Academy has brought together different experts and specialists who help share a holistic vision and multidisciplinary on viticulture in Spain through the different D.O.s and indigenous varieties that make up the region, as well as the traditions and winemaking methods that make Spain one of the largest and most prestigious wine regions in the world. The Spanish Wine Master is a biannual event and competition created to educate and challenge the knowledge professionals hold in the wines of Spain. 

About Ramón Bilbao 

Founded in 1924, Ramón Bilbao is globally recognized as one of the most prestigious wineries in Rioja and Rueda. Ramón Bilbao has spanned a century of landscapes and vineyards, new ideas and key milestones in the history of Spanish wine. Driven by its insatiable curiosity and the future vision of a bold and non-conformist project, it continues to explore, innovate and break new ground after 100 years of history. Ramón Bilbao has managed to update tradition and highlight the value of origin and territory, looking to the future with wines of greater purity, and sense of place, with the utmost respect for the land. Ramón Bilbao looks to the future with an open, innovative and, above all, curious spirit to offer an even more complete and enriching wine experience, surpassing itself in a unique journey of search for excellence and discovery through wine. 

About Zamora Company 

A family business passionate about what they do and proud of how they do it. Owners of our destiny and responsible for our decisions and results. Creators and distributors of premium wines and spirits. From its Spanish origin, it is today one of the worldwide leading companies in the sector, with a portfolio of more than 15 brands operating in more than 80 countries.

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