Rioja wine followed the positive trend started in 2013. According to the final balance announced by the Control Board, sales grew by five million bottles in 2014, placing the wine region at a new all-time record with a total of 281 million litres. Exports continued driving sales, although at a somewhat slower pace (+3.6%) than in previous years. Barrel-aged wines, and whites concentrated all of of the growth (+2.66% and +13.67% respectively). The Spanish market remained stable, which is considered a positive outcome in view of the current financial downturn and drop in wine consumption. In 2014, the D.O. Calificada Rioja sold a total of 280,789,424 million litres of wine —90% being red wine (253.5 ML), while the remainder is divided between rosé (12.42 ML) and white. The latter experienced the greatest growth (+13.67%), with sales of 14.85 ML. The main keys to this positive evolution in a general context of financial difficulties and strong international competition include the recognition earned by Rioja wines in major consumer countries, as shown by a poll carried out in 2014 by the British consultants Wine Intelligence. As with the last poll from five years ago, the survey results again place the D.O. Ca. Rioja among the wine regions of the world with the highest visibility and loyalty ratios —an aspect in which Rioja occupies the leading position in some countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, the two leading Rioja importers. The wineries' capability for innovation and the whole industry's commitment to quality have driven its growing international visibility. We should also underscore the wisdom of Rioja's strategy of setting as its main goal the specialisation in high added value categories and turning barrel-aged wines into its spearhead. The Rioja Reserva and Gran Reserva categories provide a differential personality and solid reputation. This was demonstrated again in 2014, with the great success of ancient Rioja vintages like the 1964 at tastings held with the international wine press.
STATISTICS: THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FIGURES
By category: sales of barrel-aged wines continue to grow