In spite of falling wine consumption and the economic crisis, the rising trend in sales of the Rueda appellation’s wines brings about a positive start to the year.

The 13,063,949 back labels delivered by the Rueda control board for sales in the first quarter of 2010 provided a very positive statistic for the Rueda appellation, indicating an increase of 10.6% on the same period in 2009, during which 11,816,576 back labels were issued.

 As far as categories of wine were concerned, Rueda Verdejo continues to grow faster than Rueda and represents 50% of total sales in the Rueda appellation.

There is also very positive news for rosé wines, with some 84,000 back labels being issued, compared with 139,000 for the whole of 2009. Rueda Sauvignon also performed well with 626,953 back labels issued, against 1,364,877 for the whole of 2009.

The importance of the previous year’s data, however, should not be overlooked, since those performances were achieved in a very negative economic context. Demand for wine in Spain in 2009 fell by some 11.6%, while Rueda appellation sales actually grew by 5.4%. This was no doubt due to the excellent value for money of Rueda appellation wines and their good distribution channels in the domestic market, enabling them to consolidate their position as leaders in the quality white wine market in Spain and even to gain market share from their competitors.

A number of new wineries are currently being built, some of which are expected to produce wine for the next vintage. This fact, together with the news of continuing growth in sales, gives cause for optimism in confronting the challenge of absorbing the growing annual crop in the Rueda appellation, which is now produced from a surface area under vine of almost 11,000 hectares (27,000 acres). Growing interest in the distribution of Rueda wines has been shown by groups of large wineries in Rioja, Catalonia and Jerez.  This can only help the Rueda appellation maintain its position as leader in the quality white wine market.