A HOST of Spanish wineries have started adding bubbles to red Rioja.
Eight vineyards are now producing sparkling versions of the traditional vino.
It comes after Rioja’s regulatory council created a new sparkling category, ‘espumosos de Calidad Rioja’, with bodegas included Muga, Faustino and Cune jumping on the bandwagon.
Last year saw 389 million bottles of Rioja sold worldwide while in the UK, it accounts for 37.8% of sales of Spanish wine.
Sales rose by 3.2% last year with an average price of around €7 a bottle.
Javier Pascual, from wine magazine La Prensa del Rioja, said: “Producing fizzy wine is the new fashion in Rioja and it is basically to diversify a brand which is doing very well.
“They are not trying to compete in the fizzy market with prosecco, champagne or cava . . . but simply want to offer customers something new.”