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Viñalba becomes official wine partner of Bath Rugby

Published:  06 April, 2023

Argentine wine brand Viñalba has been announced as the official wine partner of Premiership Rugby Club Bath Rugby.  

As part of an initial two-year sponsorship agreement to start from July 2023 for the 2023/2024 season and beyond, Viñalba wines will be available at the home of Bath Rugby ‘the Rec’ during all home matchdays as well other Bath Rugby official events. 

The Viñalba logo will also feature on the back of all first-team playing shirts, pitchside advertising boards and official match day programmes. 

Craig Durham, MD of Viñalba importer Buckingham Schenk said: “As our first ever high profile partnership for Viñalba, I couldn’t be more pleased for us to become the first-ever official wine partner of Bath Rugby. The synergies between Viñalba and Bath Rugby are plain to see and I cannot wait to start working with them for the 2023/2024 season onward.”

Viñalba owner and head winemaker Herve Joyaux Fabre said: “We’re delighted to become the first official wine partner of such an iconic club as Bath Rugby. Their heritage, dedicated fan base, love for their supporters and their plans for the future completely align with what we are trying to achieve with Viñalba.”

Produced by winery Bodegas Fabre, Viñalba was launched in the UK in 2007 with Buckingham Schenk. Since then, it has won over 300 medals in major wine competitions and it is now sold in eight countries worldwide. Viñalba is the sixth largest Argentinian wine exporter to the UK.

The news follows a steady increase in wine sponsorship in sport, chiefly football. In January 2022, Majestic signed a deal with Manchester City to become the ‘Official Wine Supplier of Premier League Champions’.

According to a Majestic spokesperson: “While traditionally fans would be more likely to opt for the half-time pie and pint over a Pinot or Picpoul, wine is increasingly becoming popular among football fans – and the Etihad is one of a number of sporting stadia Majestic now supplies.”

Manchester United was the trendsetter in 2010 after signing a sponsorship deal with Chilean wine producer Concha y Toro, the first official global wine deal for an English club. According to the club’s official website: “Casillero del Diablo wines are served in the VIP suites at Old Trafford and those who attend a game will see the brand advertising on the digital boards.”

Since then, two more Premier League teams have followed suit, Arsenal and Manchester City.

The north London club nicknamed The Gunners signed a partnership with Santa Rita in 2016. Baltazar Sánchez, Santa Rita executive vice-chairman, said the deal would help make the brand visible to fans across the world.

Now it seems rugby is gradually foregoing traditional half-time pints in favour of wine too, which is either a sign of wine’s growing popularity with spectators or an indication of a demographic shift within the world of live sport – or a combination of the two.