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Elevating the Value of Wine

Strategies for Increasing Average Export Prices

6/3/20245 min read


The world of wine, much like the world of luxury, thrives on perception, heritage, and innovation. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking at the II Foro AUX Rioja, a distinguished event that brought together over 200 representatives from various wineries and related industries. The goal was to share practical and effective strategies for enhancing the perceived value of wine, thereby increasing its average export price. This article delves into the core themes of my presentation, offering insights and actionable tips for those in the wine industry looking to elevate their brand and market position.

The Importance of Value Creation in Wine

The wine industry, particularly in regions like Rioja, holds a unique position in the global market. Spain is internationally renowned for the quality of its wines, yet there remains significant potential to enhance their perceived value and, consequently, their export prices. In 2023, the export price of DOCa Rioja wines reached a historical high of €5.47 per litre, a 1.3% increase compared to 2022. Despite this progress, there is ample room for growth, especially when compared to regions like Napa Valley, where the average export price is approximately €25 per litre, and Bordeaux, at around €10 per litre.

Creating Value Through Quality and Brand

Quality and brand are the cornerstones of value creation in the wine industry. This section explores three key areas that can significantly impact the perceived value of wine:

1. Quality and Sustainability Certifications

Certifications play a crucial role in enhancing the perception of wine quality. Denominations of Origin, such as DOCa Rioja, ensure authenticity and quality, which can justify higher prices. Additionally, sustainability certifications, like the Demeter certification for biodynamic wines, respond to the growing consumer demand for eco-friendly products. These certifications not only build consumer trust but also enable producers to command premium prices.

For instance, the Demeter certification has been shown to increase both consumer confidence and market prices. Implementing sustainable practices in viticulture, such as reducing carbon footprints, water conservation, and promoting biodiversity, further strengthens a winery’s reputation.

2. Brand Identity and Positioning

In a competitive market, differentiation is key. Building a strong and coherent brand identity can make a significant difference. Take Antinori, an Italian winery with over 600 years of history. They leverage their rich heritage and family tradition dating back to 1385 to position themselves as a luxury brand. This narrative of tradition and craftsmanship has been highly effective in enhancing their perceived value.

Similar to how Ferrari constructs its brand identity based on exclusivity and performance, wineries can create a unique narrative that resonates with consumers. This involves highlighting the unique aspects of their history, terroir, and winemaking processes.

3. Innovation in Production and Presentation

Innovation is another critical area. Adopting innovative techniques in production, such as the use of indigenous yeasts, can significantly enhance wine quality. Moreover, the presentation of the product also plays a vital role. Penfolds, an Australian winery, is known for its elegant presentation and innovative winemaking techniques. These elements combined help build a perception of luxury and exclusivity, much like how Hermès maintains its artisanal tradition while continuously innovating in its products.

Marketing Premium and Luxury Strategies

Marketing premium and luxury strategies are powerful tools for enhancing the perceived value of wine. This section examines two case studies that illustrate how history, tradition, and innovation can position a brand in the luxury market:

1. Case Study: Antinori

Antinori has masterfully used its history and tradition to position itself as a luxury brand. Their strategy focuses on highlighting the heritage and craftsmanship in every bottle, using historical vineyards and traditional techniques to connect with consumers. This approach has positioned Antinori as a globally recognized luxury brand, with their wines commanding premium prices.

By leveraging their narrative, Antinori creates a sense of exclusivity and heritage that resonates with consumers, similar to how Patek Philippe emphasizes the legacy and craftsmanship behind each of their timepieces.

2. Case Study: Penfolds

Penfolds has transformed their winery into a tourism destination, offering exclusive experiences to visitors. Their strategy includes personalized experiences, such as private tastings and tours of underground cellars, along with the use of advanced technology to enhance the visitor experience. This approach has significantly increased brand recognition and wine sales.

Recently, Penfolds collaborated with NIGO, a renowned Japanese designer and founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE). This unique collaboration resulted in a limited edition of Penfolds Grange, one of their most prestigious labels, featuring an exclusive design by NIGO. This partnership not only attracted wine collectors but also fashion and luxury enthusiasts, broadening Penfolds' market reach.

Developing the Collector's Market

To build a luxury brand, several key elements must be focused on:

  • Brand Identity: Developing a coherent and attractive narrative that resonates with consumers. Similar to how Ferrari positions itself in the automobile market, not just for their cars but for the aspirational lifestyle they represent.

  • Product Presentation: Designing labels and packaging that reflect the exclusivity and quality of the wine.

  • Marketing Campaigns: Using targeted advertising and exclusive events to position the brand in the luxury segment.

  • Limited Editions: Like limited-edition luxury watches that attract collectors, wineries can release limited-edition wines to capture this market.


In conclusion, marketing premium and luxury strategies can significantly elevate the perceived value of wines. By utilizing compelling stories, unique experiences, and elegant presentations, wineries can position their wines in the luxury market and increase their export prices.

New Trends in the World of Wine

To stay ahead in the global wine market, it is crucial to understand and adapt to new trends. Here are four key trends paving the way for the growth of Rioja wines:

1. Resurrection of Native and International Grape Varieties

One of the most exciting trends is the resurrection of native and international grape varieties. The approval of new varieties has resulted in a notable increase in white wine sales. For example, Maturana Blanca and even aged Viura wines have brought a fresh and complex profile that has captivated consumers. This trend is similar to how luxury brands introduce new lines to stay relevant and attract new markets.

2. "Viñedo Singular" Designation

The "Viñedo Singular" designation introduces a sense of place and terroir to wines. This not only highlights the uniqueness of each vineyard but also ensures strict regulation and quality. It is akin to how Hermès emphasizes the uniqueness and craftsmanship of each product, ensuring a perception of luxury and exclusivity.

3. Return to Heritage of Old Vines

The return to the heritage of old vines underscores the importance of historical roots. Vines over 120 years old not only produce wines of exceptional quality but also offer unparalleled historical value. This is similar to how luxury brands like Rolex emphasize their history and tradition to justify their exclusivity and high prices.

4. Increase in White Wine Sales

The white wine market is booming, and Rioja is no exception. The production of high-quality whites, using varieties like Maturana Blanca and aged Viura, has allowed Rioja's white wines to compete in international markets. This strategy is similar to Ferrari's approach of launching limited-edition models to capture the attention of different market segments.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, implementing these strategies will not only enhance the perception of Rioja wines but also increase their value in the international market. Collaboration and knowledge sharing among wineries are essential for continuous success.

I want to thank the II Foro AUX Rioja for the opportunity to share these ideas. Thank you to all the attendees for your time and participation. I look forward to staying in touch and continuing to share experiences and knowledge. You can find me on my website,, for any additional inquiries.

Let's continue working together to create a prosperous and sustainable future for our wines. Cheers!