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Ramón Bilbao, as a member of the Forum of Renowned Spanish Brands, has joined this ambitious project whose aim is to position Spain as a leader in international wine tourism
HARO, September 2017. – In 2015 the Forum of Renowned Spanish Brands (FMRE) reached an agreement with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to develop the first Prototype of Wine Tourism in an aim to envisage the creation of a tourist model positioning Spain as a leading country within international wine tourism.
Following the work undertaken in 2015 and 2016, a definitive group of wineries has been constituted which Ramón Bilbao has now joined, along with another eight large Spanish wine groups, forming the nucleus of the companies leading this project. These nine large wine groups own in total thirty-five visitable wineries, located in the best Spanish wine-growing areas.
Interestingly, the role of Spain as a leader in the tourism and wine sector is not reflected in the meeting point of these two sectors: wine tourism. With 2 million wine tourists per year, it is a long way behind leading countries such as Italy and France, with 5 and 10 million wine tourists respectively.
For Spain this represents a magnificent opportunity for significant economic growth and Ramón Bilbao is keen to contribute to this venture with its recognized experience in the wine tourism sector. The Winery, which incorporates travel within its corporate values, has been ahead of its time in this sector: it has been open to the public for 15 years and offers visitors different activities such as visits to its La Rioja Alta vineyards with a focus on viticulture, the environment and the harvest, tasting courses or the “Mirto Visit” at the actual Ramón Bilbao wineries, with unfiltered wine tasting, commented tasting and the “Óculus” VR experience.
Paula Zúñiga, Assistant Director at Ramón Bilbao, has stated “this project is a milestone, we are honoured to be part of the first association of wineries collaborating in an innovative project with an international reach which will entail, without a doubt, great progress for the sector”. “The most important thing”, adds Paula, “is that this will enable us to reach out to international tourists with an interest in wine, with a wide variety of unique experiences in each region.”
With this, tourists will have the opportunity to get to know Spain in a different way, transforming the wineries into authentic regional interpretation centres in areas which are difficult to understand as a whole without exploring the role played, not only throughout their history but also currently, by wine and wineries.
Spain Through its Wineries, rather than just another tourist offer, is in fact a value proposition which aims to showcase our country through an unexplored approach based on three key aspects: (environmental, economic and social) sustainability, deseasonalization and rural development.
This new wine tourism offer aims to be a reference on both a national and an international level and will have its own sales and management channels, based on methodological criteria, the seal of guarantee and the approval of the World Tourism Organization, which chose Spain, and the private sector, to develop this project for the first time ever.
As such this is a highly significant project with the following aims:
1. To position Spain as a leading destination for wine tourism, meaning this is a powerful competitive tool along with our tourism products.
2. To attract a different tourist profile with greater value, tourists looking to discover areas with authentic culture and savoir-faire, to get to know towns and villages and their history, thus boosting visits to areas with less tourist development and increasing income in wine-growing regions, enhancing tourist loyalty and converting these tourists into advocates of Spain as a destination and of the participating wineries and other brands.
3. To create an offer which is wider than the current one, transforming wineries into authentic regional interpretation centres to derive and then redirect the traffic to the other actors in the area, hence contributing to the development of tourism in their areas of influence and generating wealth in the local area.
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Ramón Bilbao Winery, a historic winery with a contemporary personality.
Since being established in Haro in 1924, the family business has shown its trendsetting approach within the Rioja Appellation. Innovation and persevance are brand values and our work ethos is proof of this. Ramón Bilbao owns over 180 hectares of vineyards and carefully oversees another 600 hectares in the main areas of quality within the Rioja Appellation region.
Our aim to offer maximum quality to our customers, from the vine to the point of sale, requires a a level of thoroughness only possible with the passion of those who aim for constant improvement on a day to day basis.
Grupo Zamora, one of the largest family beverage businesses in Spain has owned the Winery since 1999. The family-run firm is encouraging a respectful transformation focusing all its efforts on preserving the historic legacy while also contributing a significant innovative character and modernizing the processes and facilities to position the Winery as a global key player in the wine industry.