Held annually, this four-day conference brought together industry professionals of all levels to discuss, develop, and lead the conversation on the business of wine. SommCon’s educational component was built by sommeliers for trade professionals and serious enthusiasts who have a passion for wine and spirits and an unyielding quest for knowledge. Attendees learned and tasted their way through keynote sessions and educational classes, complete with a trade-focused tasting and expo.  Ribera y Rueda played a major role at this conference as a full conference sponsor.

As part of the campaign’s engagement with SommCon, Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe was on hand to deliver an in-depth class on the regions as well as a focused and guided tasting on Thursday, November 17th.  The title of the class was “Vino Autentico” and the goal was to bring the history, terroir, and winemaking of the regions to a group of approximately 20 eager students.  Commentary overheard at this exciting and eye-opening class focused on how unique the wines of the regions presented themselves, and how different the Verdejo of Rueda showed through classic, sparkling and barrel fermented examples.  It was also noted that Ribera del Duero had within its borders many of the most important and ground-breaking wineries in all of Spain, yet this was but one facet of the Ribera story.  Through telling the tale of unique vineyards, dramatic climate conditions, and the purest expression of Tempranillo based wines, class attendees were able to discern Ribera’s hallmark dark fruits, profound texture and abundant power in several evocative wines.

On Friday November 18th, Ribera y Rueda campaign managers Brian Patterson and Sarah Howard hosted a diverse tasting table with multiple examples of Rueda and Ribera del Duero wines during the SommCon Grand Tasting.  The tasting, the highlight of the SommCon conference, took place for four hours and was primarily geared towards the same wine trade members participating in the seminars that led up to the “main event”.  However, one of the most unique features of this tasting format was that half way through at the two-hour mark, it was also opened to enthusiastic consumers who paid for access and the opportunity to taste a remarkable array of wine, as well as other food and beverages, and also enjoy the chance to hob-nob with and learn from a room full of noted beverage professionals and experts,

SommCon seeks to become the biggest and most important wine trade conference for the West Coast of the Unites States.  Ribera del Duero and Rueda seek to become the first stop for wine trade and consumers in search of the most exciting white wines and the purest red wines from Spain.  In this way, the campaigns engagement with SommCon was a perfect match.