Juan Carlos Sancha: A Riojan Champion of Sustainable Viticulture

Juan Carlos Sancha was my professor at Universidad de la Rioja and later became my mentor and good friend. I am so proud of everything he’s done for Rioja and love when I see others recognizing his hard work and dedication to the wine industry. Felicidades Juan Carlos y Marian!

Inside Rioja

Sancha tilling his Cerro La Isa vineyard

The World Tourism Organization’s fourth Global Wine Tourism Conference in Chile in December 2019 emphasized the role of wine tourism for sustainable rural development and launched a call to action.

UNWTO General-Secretary Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Wine tourism creates jobs and entrepreneurship opportunities. It touches all areas of the regional economy through its linkages to handicrafts, gastronomy and agriculture. There lies its great potential to generate development opportunities in remote destinations.”

Rioja wineries read his message loud and clear.

Today, over 400 Rioja wineries have a tourism program, increasingvisits to wine villages, generating jobs, promoting knowledge about wine culture, enhancing the wineries’ image and creating additional revenue streams. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.

However, challenges remain. Among them is attracting discerning wine tourists who have no shortage of choices of wineries to visit. The most forward-thinking wineries here are moving…

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