Fuller’s Bruce warns Rioja of ‘overcomplicating things’

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Drinks: Drinks

Neil Bruce

Rioja’s existing crianza, reserva and gran reserva classifications are still ‘where the action is’, despite the introduction of new labelling rules, says Fuller’s head of wine Neil Bruce.

Speaking at the unveiling of the region’s new global marketing campaign this week, Bruce said it was vital that Rioja did not ‘over-complicate’ its message to consumers.

His comments could be met with concern in Rioja.

The DOC unveiled a series of rule changes last summer, allowing wineries to put the names of single vineyards (Viñedos Singulares) on the label for the first time, as well as those of villages or communes (Vinos de Municipio) and of zones (Vinos de Zona).

‘For me, it’s still all about that crianza, reserva level,’ said Bruce. ‘We’ve kind of backed away from entry-level wines that were bottled in the region and have Rioja on the back-label.

‘The action now is at crianza and reserva level.’

Read Tom Perry’s feature on the new Vinedos Singulares here

About Author

Richard Woodard

A trained newspaper journalist, Richard Woodard has been writing about wine and spirits since 2000, including stints as editor of Wine & Spirit International, The Drinks Bulletin and The Spirits Business. He is a regular freelance contributor to a wide range of trade and consumer drinks magazines and websites, including Imbibe and sister title Square Meal, and is currently involved in the imminent launch of scotchwhisky.com, a new website devoted to Scotch whisky.

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