Rueda ramps up focus on exports

Mora has identified different competitors in each market, and the team is working on a plan to boost the region’s presence in these key countries. “In the UK our competitors are Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay as well. Verdejo is very aromatic, like Albarino, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc. Chardonnay is not an aromatic grape, but it is used in a similar way.

“In Switzerland, our competitors are the Austrian wines, and the Riesling, and the local production. They are very advanced consumers. They are used to pre-phylloxera wines, to oak-fermented wines.

“In Germany and the Netherlands, our main export markets, the main competitors are Italy and France – the Loire, Pinot Grigio, Soave. Italy does very well in white wine exports. New Zealand and Chile are working very well, so in some markets we are competing directly with them.”

The on-trade dominates the Spanish market, and Rueda is the number two region in that channel, after Rioja. However, before the pandemic, Rueda was only fifth in the off-trade, as just 35% of its domestic sales went through that channel. “The origin Rueda is [now] very strong in the off-trade. We have increased the most out of all the appellations in Spain in the supermarkets.

“People are looking for Rueda wines in the off-trade because they are not going to restaurants and bars. In Spain, in the coming years, the balance will change to the off-trade consumption. As soon as this coronavirus is supressed, the on-trade will recover, and people will still be drinking wine at home, so overall consumption could increase.”