Rioja Welcomes 34 New International Wine Educators


The Regulatory Council of DOCa Rioja created the Rioja Wine Academy to bring Rioja wines to every corner of the world. Through these courses they want to contribute to the excellence of professionals and satisfy the curiosity and desire to know of all those who approach Rioja wines. The goal of the Rioja Wine Academy is to train individuals who are passionate about the diversity, the way of making wines, the land and the flavors and, in turn, spread this enthusiasm to others through the training programs.

Rioja wine educators, Consejo
Newly certified Rioja Wine Educators pose in front of the DOCa Rioja’s Consejo

To date, the Academy has nearly 18,000 registrants eager to master the intricacies of Rioja. In November, 2022 the DOCa Rioja welcomed 34 newly certified Rioja wine educators! These educators completed both a theoretical phase, as well as a practical phase which consisted of a five-day visit to the three subzones that make up the DOCa Rioja. The new official educators discovered firsthand the different wineries and the vineyards of the region, thanks to a complete program that has allowed them to immerse themselves in the diversity and essence of Rioja.

With these 34 new additions, Rioja now has more than 130 official educators of 29 different nationalities who will be able to instruct thousands of people around the world. The profile of the educators is very diverse, ranging from wine professionals to people working in education and dissemination of wine.

The group of participants in this edition was made up of professionals from all continents, from countries such as Germany, Brazil, Canada, China, South Korea, Spain, Hungary, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the USA, among others. “A very enriching experience,” as stated by Evan Goldstein, Master Sommelier, now a new Official Rioja Educator, who declared: “[t]he Rioja Control Board has put together one of the best educational programs organized by a wine region that I have ever experienced. The online course is very comprehensive and the visit to the region consisted of a great mix of themes and a well thought out selection of producers with distinctive high-quality wines.  The diverse group of attendees share the same passion for Rioja.” The Master Sommelier says he is looking forward to working with Rioja in the U.S. market “to raise and amplify awareness the great potential of this region.”

Another new educator, Master of Wine Adam Porter, said that the program was “informative, inspirational and very well organized, showcasing the great diversity and quality of the region. It reconfirmed my view of Rioja as a great classic wine region, with benchmark blends now being complemented by more varietal and terroir focused wines further exploring the nuances of the area.  This makes Rioja one of the most exciting wine regions in the world and I recommend every wine lover or student to check out the courses on Rioja Wine Academy and plan a visit soon.”

In addition, another new educator, Young Shi, a Master of Wine Student and Chinese Business Manager of Jancis Robinson, describes the initiative as “a memorable and revealing experience: from classic wines to the renaissance of indigenous varieties, innovation and diversity in wine styles, and the focus on terroir wines, Rioja is constantly reinventing itself.”

The aim of the course is for participants to obtain the most complete picture of Rioja and its diversity, discovering everything from its large wineries to small ones and exploring the variety of its landscapes, soils, climate, grapes, etc. To this end, more than 60 Rioja wineries took part in this edition, offering new educators their wines and their experience. The participants tasted more than 130 wines as part of ten thematic tastings and, in turn, made 12 visits to wineries and vineyards.

About Rioja Wine Academy

Rioja Wine Academy, the official training center set up by the Control Board, continues to promote the knowledge and culture of the appellation through the online courses it offers to wine professionals and students, completing nearly 18,000 registrations to date. In addition, the ‘Official Rioja Wine Educator’ program aims to enhance the knowledge of participants so they can act as educators of wines of the region in their respective countries and educational centers. Students can also take advantage of the online program, and its audiovisual content, videos and interactive tests that make the learning process enjoyable, intuitive and adaptable to the pace of each user. The aim is to spread knowledge about Rioja in an accessible way.

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