One of the most historic and respected wineries in Rioja has formed an exclusive partnership with Denver-based Curious Cork Imports.
Rioja Vega—which was formed in 1882 and is one of only four wineries allowed by the DOC to use “Rioja” in its name—recently signed a national importation agreement with the rapidly growing European wine importer Curious Cork Imports. The companies will immediately begin working together on re-launching the Rioja Vega brand comprehensively in the American market. Rioja Vega was formerly imported into the United States by Constellation Brands.
Curious Cork Imports has achieved significant growth over the last four years by focusing on relevant and authentic European wines in a landscape where imported wine continues to gain substantial share in the American market. Since 2014, Curious Cork Imports has expanded from its home state of Colorado, to 36 states, with distribution in every major market channel, including national accounts. The company's largest brand, Faire la Fête—a Méthode Traditionnelle French sparkling wine that retails for $17.99—is on track for 30,000 9L cases in sales this year and has helped lead the expansion of Curious Cork’s national footprint and the development of its portfolio to 20 brands.
“We like to focus on a unique partner within each region,” says Peter Baedeker, Cork’s Chief Executive Officer, “and Rioja Vega is clearly one of the benchmark wineries in Rioja. As we began our search for a partner in Rioja, it became very clear that Rioja Vega shared our long-term view of the U.S. market and was producing the best wines that we tasted from the region.”
Rioja Vega’s Managing Director, Eduardo Sainz states that “Curious Cork Imports shares our vision for the future growth of the Spanish wine market in the U.S., and the future of the Rioja wine market in America. We are a historic winery but one that is pushing Rioja forward, and we appreciate the fast but focused growth that Curious Cork has achieved in the important U.S. market.”
Mr. Baedeker adds, “Rioja Vega has a combination of history and modernity that is very hard to find, anywhere in world. And, their dedication to sustainable viticulture and social responsibility is very important to us. Every wine we import will be certified Vegan, for example. Under the winemaking leadership of Esperanza Elias, Rioja Vega is making modern, elegant and balanced wines with pure expression of Rioja terroir.”
Curious Cork Imports and Rioja Vega will focus on five SKUs for the launch, including Rioja Vega’s main DOCa Rioja wine ($15.99); Rioja Vega Crianza ($19.99); Rioja Vega Reserva ($29.99); a Garnacha Rosé ($13.99); and a unique blend of Graciano and Garnacha known as “GG” ($16.99).
About Curious Cork Imports
Curious Cork Imports is a Denver-based importer and full-service sales & marketing company that focuses exclusively on premium European wines. As a proven brand builder, Curious Cork brings wines to the market that have a sense of place, authenticity and real value for the U.S. consumer. Working from a position of relevance to the market, Curious Cork has expanded in four years from a single state importer to a national company with distribution in 36 states. For more information, visit www.curiouscork.com
About Rioja Vega
Rioja Vega was started in 1882 and is one of only four wineries allowed to use the Rioja name in its brand name. The winery recently completed construction of modern cellars and a new winery in Rioja. Rioja Vega prides itself on its rich history—the winery began production before the Rioja DOC was even created—as well as its push towards modernity, social responsibility, and sustainable viticulture practices. Rioja Vega wines have been decorated with accolades from major publications throughout the world. Rioja Vega is part of the Grupo Príncipe de Viana, which was named one of Spain’s Top 3 wine companies by AkataVino Spanish Sommeliers Group in 2018. For more information, visit www.riojavega.com