And the fact that Rioja continues to be a UK favourite is positive, according to Alex Canneti, business development manager of PLB Wines.
“Rioja drives the category. If Rioja does well, Spanish wine does well,” said Canneti.
PLB, a leading supplier of Spanish wines to UK supermarkets, has been working closely with Spanish producers to get the labelling right for the UK consumer, which Canneti said had required large amounts of initial investment but had been beneficial.
Working to promote the message of variety at the event, Spanish wine critic José Peñín
gave his recommendations of the best brands produced from the 10 main Spanish grape varieties, which include Mencia and Temperanillo grapes.
Key to driving the category in the UK, said Canneti, is the association of wine with food, which is working well for Spain and Italy, but less so for France.
Joanna Haycock, international marketing manager at United Wineries, noted: “The increasing interest in Spanish food means that we can start to push the off-trade, our main focus, through the on-trade.”