Have you enjoyed a great Rioja wine?
The Rioja wine includes different varieties of wines produced in the Rioja region, in the North Central Spain.
This region, awarded with the “Qualified Designation of Origin”, consists of three different areas: Rioja, Navarre and the Basque province of Álava.
The Rioja region is split into three sections: Rioja Baja, Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa.
Depending on their different climate, the wine produced has slightly different characteristics.
For example, wines from Rioja Alta have high tannin and acidity compared to the more fruity and round wines from Rioja Baja.
Let’s discover the Rioja grapes!
The most important grape is definitely Tempranillo, however the traditional varieties are seven in total.
The red varieties, apart from Tempranillo, are: Garnacha Tinta, Mazuelo and Graciano.
The white varieties are 3: Viura, Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca.
In addition, there are new authorized varieties that can be planted only in substitution of these main seven.
Depending on the time wine remains in barrels, we have different styles.
Crianza is the cheapest level of Rioja: at this level wines stay minimum one year in casks and a few months in bottles.
As they are aged in used oak, its flavour is not as strong as in other styles.
Another style is called Reserva: red wines aged for minimum 3 years with one year in casks (white wines for 2 years and 6 months in casks).
Then we have Gran Reserva, selected wines that age 2 years in oak casks and 3 years in bottles (for white wines the period lasts 4 years with one year in casks).
These wines have the most tannin structure and are good to cellar up to 30 years.
Curious to taste these amazing Spanish wines?
Plan a tour to discover this beautiful area and go through proper tasting sessions!
And if you are a wine lover, read more here about different wines.