Wines from Rioja UK has launched its 2020 promotional campaign, which features an increased focus on driving awareness of the region’s premium offering.

A series of “fresh new initiatives” will be launched this year, including the Ultimate Rioja trade tasting, which will focus on “exceptional” Rioja wines.

There will also be a series of masterclasses for up-and-coming talent in the wine industry, dubbed Rioja Bootcamp.

For consumers, Rioja on the Road will see a branded Rioja airstream pop up around high footfall squares in the capital. The Consejo Regulador also introduces the Rioja Wine Academy, an online educational tool for consumers and trade alike.

The Ultimate Rioja trade tasting promises to bring to the UK some of the best wines that Rioja has to offer. A panel of judges will participate in a blind tasting and select only top scoring whites, roses and reds from the Reserva, Gran Reserva and premium Generic categories. The tasting will also offer the first showcase of Vinedos Singulares in the UK.

The Bootcamp series is a collection of masterclasses open to all members of the trade in London, Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol. The Wines from Rioja team will work with experts such as Tim Atkin MW and Sarah Jane Evans MW, who will host educational sessions covering the iconic Rioja ageing classification system, as well as exploring the modern face of Rioja, such as the introduction of Vinedos Singulares. The sessions will also include food pairings and informal discussions at the end, to encourage guests to enjoy Rioja with a variety of different cuisines in a social setting.

Sales of Rioja white and rose wines have more than doubled in the UK in the last five years according to Nielsen data, and Rioja on the Road will offer the opportunity to showcase the region’s variety of styles and work with wine experts to bring the region and its wines to life.

This year also sees the launch by the Consejo Regulador DOCs of the Rioja Wine Academy, an online bilingual education platform with free courses designed for everyone from enthusiasts to experts. The Rioja Wine Diploma is open to anyone who wishes to have a more in-depth understanding of Rioja.

Inigo Tapiador, marketing director Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja, said: “The UK continues to be Rioja’s top export market and we are committed to raising awareness of the quality of the wines our region has to offer. This year we are looking forward to launching a brand-new trade tasting which will highlight Rioja’s top wines. We will also engage more with the up-and-coming generation of wine experts in the on and off-trade through our Rioja Bootcamp series.

“In the making for some time has been the Rioja Wine Academy which we are proud to launch this year as well. This is following the popularity and high demand for our Certified Educator Course. The Rioja Wine Academy goes one step further and expands our range of training and helps us reach a wider audience.”