London hosted a wine tasting of Valdesil wineries organised by Institute Cervantes in London, by Juan Manuel Bellver, one of Spain’s best-known food and wine critics.
Bellver presented Spanish wine history through a map in which he commented the protected designation of origin throughout Spanish geography, regions of vineyards that are protected. «London in one of the European cities where wine of all kinds it is most appreciated and particularly the fortified, among which our Jerez has almost no rival», explained the general director of Lavinia Spain.
«To come here to talk about Spanish wine to such an interested audience, within the framework of a historic club like The Rag, has been an enriching and fascinating experience. The tasting allowed the attendees to enjoy in their glass the fascinating history of unknown wineries, centuries-old vines, steep slopes and dreamer vineyards that I had previously told them,” Bellver said.
Institute Cervantes in London organised the tasting in collaboration with the Spanish Wine Federation. It took place in the prestigious private club of The Rag-the Army and Navy, founded in 1837, located in St James: the heart of the capital. Originally for military and naval officers, it now welcomes everyone.
Six wines were tasted; four whites and two reds. All are currently for sale in the United Kingdom – Valdesil Sobre Lías 2018 (white wine, godello grape), Valdesil Sobre Lías 2013 (white wine, godello grape), Pezas da Portela 2016 (white wine, godello grape), O Chao 2016 (white wine, godello grape), Valderroa 2016 (red wine, mencía grape) and Valderroa Carballo 2015 (red wine, mencía grape).
This was the first of a series of lectures and wine tastings organised by the Cervantes Institute in London, which featured the first encounter with wines from the northwest of Spain, specifically from Valdeorras, in Galicia.
Borja Prada is the technical director of Valdesil and seventh generation of a family dedicated to wine. He explained how the British market was the first export for Bodegas Valdesil, starting the commercialisation of wines in 1993.
«For Valdesil the British market has been a great challenge, because it is the most demanding market in the world, but also a great satisfaction, because it confirms that the wines made by Valdesil are world class, and that they compete with the best,» says Prada.
In addition, the winemaker adds how the British market has also been «a source of joy”. This is due to the quality of the wines, which have been praised by British critics, and reviewed in publications such as: The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, and also on the BBC, «Saturday Kitchen Live» programme.
The United Kingdom is one of the worldwide reference markets for the wine sector. Second globally in terms of importing wine and the sixth globally in terms of wine consumption per person. The British market is of interest for the wineries of the Denomination of Origin Ribera del Duero, which is the eight largest wine exporter (almost four hundred thousand litres in 2018), whilst maintaining the lead for best value per litre (14.91 euros).
For this reason, the Regulatory Council has been developing a promotional plan in the UK for the past few years. t’s main aim is to encourage and educate young professionals about high quality wine and promote Ribera del Duero.
This year the Denomination of Origin is developing an intense campaign of which this festival is one. The Ñ Ribera del Duero Festival, which will take place in London on May 18th, organized by the DO, Sonorama Ribera and Planeta Sonoro.
The festival’s program includes different activities with clear players: the Ribera del Duero wines and the music of Spanish artists of recognized prestige with international success.
The Ñ Ribera del Duero Festival includes the performances of La Excepción, Morgan and Shinova. The launch of the festival will be held on May 17th at the headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes in London, where authorities, industry professionals and diplomats will be offered a VIP tasting of ten wines from the Ribera del Duero wineries. The tasting will be given by Pancho Campo MW.