Rioja DOCa appoints new president

The board of the DOCa Rioja has made a grape grower its new president, the first time in the 88-year history of the DOCa.

Luis Alberto Lecea, a representative of the ASAJA agricultural organisation, replaces winemaker Victor Pascual who took office in 2004 after the interprofessional organisation was created.

The DOCa also has new plenary board which will be made up of members of the board of directors of the Rioja Wine Interprofessional Organisation.

Pascual said: “As first president of the interprofessional association, I am very proud to have contributed to the creation of a management model that is the envy of many wine regions across the world. These achievements include the internationalisation and significant improvement in quality of our wines in recent years, as well as adaptation to market demands and modernisation of our communications.”

Lecea expressed his firm belief "in the commitment made to the Interprofessional as the best management tool to have a stable, balanced development of the Rioja wine industry," adding that his main goal for the new term would be "a continued focus on the quality of the DOCa, which has allowed us to cement our position of leadership among Spanish wine regions and, more importantly, has allowed 18,000 growers and more than 500 wineries to continue creating wealth for the region despite the financial crisis."

To achieve that goal, he thinks it is essential to "reinforce our quality and innovation policy, as well as continuing with long-term promotional activities that will allow more and more wineries to export and grow value in these markets so we can achieve the desired returns for our grapes and wines."