After a certain Ribeira Sacra appeared at a presidential event, demand skyrocketed.
The Spanish region of Galicia has a wine problem. Or rather, a lack of wine problem. A recent presidential nod of approval has created a frenzied demand for one bottle in particular.
After President Obama served a Pezo do Rei Ribeira Sacra the last Gala de la Hispanidad in Washington D.C.—an event to honor the legacy of the United State's Hispanic community—the wines sales shot sky-high, and now it's difficult to find a bottle remaining in Spain. As The Daily Beast reports, "Obama's wine," as its been nicknamed, has drawn new attention and investors to mountainous region's wineries.
Around 104,700 liters of the 1,927,000 exported from the Ribeira Sacra end up in the United States, and the American demand for Spanish wine is growing rapidly. "There is an increase in demand in the U.S. because more importers and distributors are starting to carry Mencias from the Ribeira Sacra," Dominic Rodriguez of Classic Wines says.
And while the winemakers of Ribeira Sacra are grateful for the uptick in business, they remain cautious about investors looking to get a taste of the flourishing Spanish wine business. "We are respectful to those who want to develop a project in the Ribeira Sacra, but only as long as they represent the nature of the mountain viticulture, and the strong slope cultivation that characterize us," says Rubén Pérez, technical director of Ponte Da Boga winery.
As for the "major PR coup" caused by Obama's wine pick, the President didn't have much say in the wine choice. Apparently, a Galicia native by the name of Gallego recommended the Peza do Rei to the catering service. "The Galician media blew this out of proportion without any merit to it. The good thing about it is that every winery in Galicia was encouraged to push harder in the U.S. market," Rodriguez says.
Though not a single bottle of "Obama's Wine" remains for sale, those eager to taste the presidential blend can still track it down online.