Rioja Wine UK invites the UK trade and press to the first Rioja Residency – an immersive, educational journey around Rioja without leaving London. It all takes place on June 21 at London’s five-star boutique hotel, The Ned, which will be Rioja’s home for the day where guests can enjoy the region’s rich culture and heritage including the chance to taste wines from 20 visiting winemakers. The day will also include masterclasses from Spanish wine experts and masters of wine. Here’s what is in store.
The Rioja Residency takes place at London’s The Ned. Click here for more details and to register.
Tell us about the new Rioja Residency tasting and education concept?
Rioja Residency will be a fully immersive day of Rioja wine hosted at a luxury hotel in Central London, The Ned aimed at inspiring and educating key members of the trade and establishing Rioja as a super-premium, must list fine wine.
What do you hope to achieve by running the event in this way?
Rioja Residency is all about celebrating Rioja, bringing top members of the UK trade and press together under one (beautiful roof) to explore, learn and enjoy all things Rioja. This is a new look Rioja event that will deliver long term impact with the aim of increasing the value of Rioja across the board.
You are looking to run a series of masterclasses at the event. What are they?
What better way to bring Rioja wines to life that to partner with some of Rioja’s most knowledgeable storytellers. So this year we will be working with Sarah Jane Evans MW who will be hosting a discussion on the ‘must list Rioja wines right now’ with five winemakers from Rioja.
We will also be hosting a seminar with Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW, he will guide the trade and press through his ‘Secrets of the Cellar’ tasting through spectacular wines from three his favourite Rioja producers.
And finally, aimed at the on-trade, there will be a food and wine pairing workshop hosted by top sommelier Gonzalo Rodriguez Diaz who will be taking guests outside of their pairing comfort zone matching Rioja wines to dishes curated by The Ned. More will be revealed on the winemakers and wines involved at the seminars.
Why did you choose to focus in on those key areas for the masterclass?
We wanted to ensure that there was something relevant to all corners of the UK trade from indies to retailers, sommeliers and press. So hosting a useful guide to which Rioja wines should feature on wine lists with Sarah Jane Evans will be useful for those looking to go explore wider Rioja varieties and styles. Then, for those looking for a little education on ageing Rioja and looking retrospectively at the region’s rich heritage, Pedro Ballasteros will guide them through some spectacular vintages. Then of course, for the sommeliers in the crowd, some useful top tips on how to think creatively about pairing Rioja to food will be presented.
Who is the Rioja Residency aimed at?
The UK on and off-trade with buying power as well as press and key trade representatives looking to further their Rioja knowledge, discover new wines and hopefully take on new listings.
You will also have wineries and importers at the tasting – tell us what buyers can expect?
On the day, there will be a walk around tasting featuring 20 winemakers all laid out in their geographical sub zones, so an easy way to tour Rioja’s 100km of diversity. In addition to this, there will be three seminars held as well as an Educator ‘walk around’ tour hosted by Rioja Wine Educator Leona Da Pasquale, who will provide a guided tour of the tasting for visiting educators. Lunch will also be provided for guests and there will be a brilliant opportunity to network at the end of the day The Ned’s sixth floor terrace which overlooks the city – accompanied by live music, canapes and Riojan Espumoso.
- For more details and to register to attend the Rioja Residency click here.
- Masterclasses include:
- 11am: The Ten Heroes of Rioja with Sarah Jane Evans MW: Sarah Jane Evans will host a panel discussion featuring five winemakers from all over Rioja, to uncover the region’s diversity and the ten styles of Rioja wines essential to any wine list.
- 2pm: Secrets of the Cellar with Pedro Ballesteros Torres MW: Pedro Ballesteros Torres’ top three Rioja producers in ‘Secrets of the Cellar’ with a tasting of their best vintages to-date.
- 2pm: Match made in Rioja with Gonzalo Rodriguez Diaz: A food and wine tutorial which will take guests “outside of their pairing comfort zone” with a food pairing prepared by The Ned’s resident chef.