Ramón Bilbao introduces Spanish Wine Master competition

Rioja’s Ramón Bilbao is introducing a professional competition to find its ‘Spanish Wine Master’, as the brand continues on its mission to educate the trade about Spanish wine.

Launching this month in the UK, the contest takes entrants from a timed online qualifying quiz, through to an in-person final in front of judges this summer, via an online tasting challenge. The overall winner will take home a cash prize and the opportunity to make their own wine in partnership with the Ramón Bilbao technical team.

Rodolfo Bastida, head winemaker, said: “Our mission is to help our industry discover the distinctive styles from the different DOs of Spain. We take people on a detailed journey into the viticultural and vinification techniques, plus the geography and topography behind some of our country’s top wines. If you know even a bit about Spanish wine, and want to know more, this is the competition for you.”

The Spanish Wine Master is open to anyone who works in the UK trade, including independent merchants, sommeliers, consultants, bartenders, educators, writers, and will be pitched at the equivalent of WSET Level 3 (and above) knowledge.  

Entrants are also offered information and training here, and the competition questions will be run by Elisa Errea, founder and director of The Wine Studio.

Bastida has led the team at Ramón Bilbao since 1999 and will be head judge with fellow winemaker Rosana Lisa and Spanish wine expert, Sarah Jane Evans MW. They will sit in on the at-home semi-final, which will see contestants tested on five different wines from Ramón Bilbao and other leading producers, as they come to London this summer for the UK leg of the finals.  

“We’re looking at people’s knowledge of facts and figures about Spanish wines, but also how they taste them,” adds Bastida. “The more you take part, the more you’ll learn, that’s at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.”