Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Rioja recognises six key figures at inaugural annual London awards

Published:  11 November, 2015

The work of six leading industry figures was recognized by the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja at the inaugural Rioja Recognises awards ceremony in London last night.

Sarah Jane Evans MW and Tim Atkin MW both received Outstanding Contribution awards for their ongoing commitment and support of the Rioja category.

The On-Trade Personality of the Year went to Spanish chef José Pizarro, who recently opened his third eponymous London restaurant in Broadgate.

Beth Willard was awarded Off-Trade Personality of the Year for her work with Laithwaites.

Simon Jerrome, purchasing director at Matthew Clark, took home the Distributor of the Year award.

Finally, Olly Smith was named Communicator of the Year.

The awards were presented by Consejo president José Maria Daroca.

Smith said: "I'm delighted to accept this award from Rioja, a wine region which perfectly balances tradition with a zest for communicating its passion for wine in an invigoratingly modern way.

"I salute these inventive wineries for engaging and encouraging consumers the world over to sample for themselves the hoard of diversity from this world class treasury of vineyards, skill and invention."

Pizarro said: "It is an honour to receive this award. It means a lot for me to be recognised by Rioja, a region well-known for the amazing wines it has produced for many years."

Ricardo Aguirano, marketing director for the Consejo Regulador, said: "This evening, Rioja Recognises has been the perfect opportunity for us to show our gratitude to those within the industry who are helping us to continually grow the category in the UK.

"Their commitment to growing awareness and affinity for the region amongst consumers has been second-to-none. We look forward to working with these personalities on their continued commitment to the category as well as seeking out new champions for next year."

Rioja Recognises 2015 was held at the Hispania restaurant in the City of London. Proceedings were compered by Charles Metcalfe MW.