Sales of wines from Rioja were up by just over 1% in 2015

Sales of wines from Rioja were up by just over 1% in 2015

Sales of Rioja inched up last year, according to new figures, with domestic sales of the Spanish DOC wine recording a lift for the first time since 2008's economic downturn.

In results announced today, trade association the Consejo Regulador Denominacion de Origen Calificada Rioja said that Rioja sales in 2015 rose by 1.1% in volume terms on the year prior, totalling 284m litres. Sales by value, however, were up more impressively, by 5.3%. The volume lift was the third consecutive annual increase.

Exports accounted for 38% of Rioja's total 2015 sales. Leading the way is the UK, with a 2% lift – the country takes 34.5% of total exports from the La Rioja region. However, the other key export markets of Germany, the US and Switzerland registered a "slight drop" in sales last year. Meanwhile, Ireland (up 42%), China (up 34.5%), which has climbed to sixth position, and Canada (up 23%) all performed well in 2015.

"In view of promising sales forecasts, the control board has included both Ireland and Canada among the countries targeted for promotional campaigns," the CRDOCR said today.

In Spain, sales volumes inched up by 1.1% to 177.4m litres.

Rioja accounts for 41.3% of all exports of Spanish DOC wine by value, while in volume the region sells 31.4%.

In June last year, the trade association raised its marketing budget for 2015 to around EUR10m (US$11m), a 5% increase on 2014.