In 2020, Ramón Bilbao launched a digital platform as part of their ground- breaking project to educate consumers about the diversity of Spanish wines. Underpinned by the mantra that ‘the more you learn about something, the more you love it’, the Spanish Wine Academy has been a massive hit with oenophiles worldwide. Now, after three years of innovative masterclasses and superlative wines, Ramón Bilbao is poised to unveil its Spanish Wine Master programme: a vinous competition to end all competitions.
The Spanish Wine Master challenges even the most experienced of wine professionals. It is a pan-global competition, taking place in four key destinations: Spain, Colombia, Dominican Republic, and the UK. Ramón Bilbao is certain that this exciting – and unparalleled – opportunity to flex your scholastic muscles will attract a diverse pool of applicants – sommeliers, buyers, journalists, bartenders and wine lovers are all encouraged to apply. Designed by wine expert Elisa Errea from The Wine Studio, the competition will be broken down into three stages, reaching a grand finale in the summer of 2023, when the top ten finalists of each country will compete to be this year’s Spanish Wine Master.
However, there will be plenty of viticultural athletics leading to the final. Running from late-March until the end of May, an online test (50 questions) on the intricacies of Spanish wines will allow candidates to prove their mettle and secure a place in the semi-final. Fifty semi-finalists per country will then take part in an online tasting competition, hosted by a TV presenter. The 50 participants will each receive a Spanish Wine Master sample kit, containing five different wines from Ramón Bilbao and other leading producers. Designed to test the limits of your palate, only ten finalists will make it through to the final stage. That event, due to take place in June (July in the UK), will involve a tasting competition in front of an expert panel, including Ramón Bilbao’s winemaker Rodolfo Bastida. In each market, only one person will emerge victorious – a true wine master.
The competition is the latest in a series of pioneering innovations from Rioja’s leading bodega, including the launch (in 2020) of a trio of single-vineyard labels under the brand name Lalomba, crafted by winemaker Rosana Lisa. Produced in very small quantities, critics now regard them as among the finest wines produced in Spain today. With a passion for both tradition and progress, Ramón Bilbao is a winery fit for our diverse age.
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The Spanish Wine Master competition