Geographically, this probably the most famous and best known DO Spain a special dar. The majority of vineyards with 62,000 acres still lies in the autonomous north-eastern Spanish region of La Rioja, but some of them located in the two regions Basque country (Sub-area of â€‹â€‹Alava) and Navarre . The department has a very old wine-growing history. There are many preserved in stone carved GÃ¤rbecken that give evidence of a wine in ancient times. Efforts to source name and exquisite quality have a very long tradition. Already around 1560 winegrowers decided to fire a single sign of their barrels to guarantee the identity of the wines from this region. The Mayor of LogroÃ±o banned in 1635, even the movement of carts through the streets, where there were wine cellar. This was done out of concern that vibrations caused by vehicles ruin the grape must and could therefore affect the maturation of the wines. The first written reference to a Quality control Warranty and wine dates back to 1650. In 1787, the "Real Sociedad EconÃ³mica de Cosecheros de Rioja" was (Royal Economic Society of Rioja wine) with the idea that it would promote viticulture, winemaking and wine business. At the beginning of the 19th Century originated in the town of Haro, the custom of Batalla del Vino (Battle of the wine), this great city festival is still celebrated annually.
One of the pioneers of the Rioja Marques de Camilo Hurtado Beasainmendi who built 1860 on its 200 acre estate a bodega to Bordeaux-style and planted vines from Bordeaux left. After the phylloxera invasion of the mid-19th Century, many French winemakers from hiked into the area and gave the French wine therefore impulses. In 1902 a royal decree was carried out with the definition of the origin of Rioja wines and a labeling rule. A Control Board was established in 1926, was entrusted with the task of limiting the Rioja region to monitor the output of a "warranty seal" to protect the name and Rioja. In 1953, the Control Council the designation of origin Rioja was founded, the checks on the basis of organoleptic sampling and analytical investigations, whether the wine meets the strict regulations. In 1991, a ministerial decree which gave origin Rioja, the attribute "calificada" (qualified), and raised it as the first stage of the highest quality Spanish DOCa . The name of the DO and the wine is derived from the river Oja at (Rio Oja). The over 100-kilometer wide area situated on both banks of the Ebro, and on the slopes of adjacent hills. There is a mild climate with short summers and beautiful fall. The traditional form of education is the bush-shaped en vaso (goblet), but is now growing through the wire-frame education. The most important Rioja grape variety is Tempranillo , Which accounts for just under 28,000 hectares around 60% of the vineyard. The most common white variety is Viura with 8,000 hectares.
About 75% of the Rioja is red, rosÃ© and 15% as only 10% as white wine. The red Rioja is 80% Tempranillo from the main towns, with shares of Garnacha Tinta (Grenache), Graciano and Mazuelo (Carignan), and pressed the allowed since 2007 vintage Maturana Parda and Maturana Tinta. From the formerly used by adding white grapes to be abandoned. For some time experimenting with and Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which may be used with special permission. The red wines are almost exclusively developed dry. The RosÃ© is also marketed semi sweet. The white Rioja is made â€‹â€‹from Viura (Macabeo), Malvasia and Garnacha Blanca Riojana, and since 2007 the newly approved varieties Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc (together up to 50%), Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, TurruntÃ©s (Torrontes) and Verdejo. The greenish-yellow wine is usually fermented dry. The "alien" Rioja varieties may not be contrary to the traditional domestic listed on the label. Every year around 180 million liters are produced Rioja, one third is exported to 70 countries. Rioja is divided into three subzones:
Rioja Alta: The 24,000-acre area located south of the town of Haro as a wine center of the Ebro River and west of the city of Logrono. The climate is influenced by the Atlantic by hot summers, mild autumns and cold winters. The vineyards are located on soil deposition, mixed with lime and ferrous clay. The dominant grape variety is Tempranillo, Graciano and followed by Mazuelo, develop and extract every bit thicker richer dishes such as Rioja, in the other two areas. Here are the best and most artful Riojas are produced. The full-bodied wines high in acidity and tannins are well suited for barrel aging.
Rioja Alavesa: The 12,000-acre area located north of the Ebro River in Basque country . The climate is similar to that in Rioja Alta, in the vineyards dominate calcareous clay soils. The dominant grape variety is Tempranillo with a little thinner shell. This light, fruity and spicy red wines with moderate alcohol predominate and total acid content. They can be consumed as young wines, but are also suitable for aging in casks. In general, they are not as capable as those from stock Rioja Alta.
Rioja Baja: the 20 500 hectare area east of Logrono is the warmest and driest. This has a Mediterranean climate with low rainfall. The vineyards are located mainly on ferrous clays with deposits. The dominant grape variety is the red Garnacha. There are extra-rich, high alcohol wines with up to 15 vol%, and rose wines. The aromatic and often precocious and young wines are considered to be enjoyed in not as noble as the other two areas of Rioja.
The earlier practice of principle, the Rioja bottles to wrap with gold braid (see Alambrado ), is now practiced only in part. The traditional and still dominant wine is characterized by long barrel aging in 225 liter American oak casks. This results in wines with an almost brownish in color, typical vanilla, spice and citrus notes and soft tannins. Recently it has forced a shorter barrel storage and subsequent bottle aging, the wine ready to drink sooner to make. In general, the process of maturation in barrel lasts between one and three years later and is completed during a period between six months and six years in the bottle. Depending on the aging and maturation process, the wines are divided into four categories. The maturity periods are minimum requirements, many traditional bodegas stretch this out even more extreme:
Joven (young wine): (white, red and pink), the young Rioja bears only the name "Garantia de Origen" and comes a few months after the harvest to market. It can also be matured in oak barrels short or extended. He is to be enjoyed young.
Crianza (aged): red wines must be removed at least two years, including at least one year in barrel and up to twelve months in the bottle. With enough rosÃ© and white wines, six months in barrel. See also Crianza .
Reserva: Red wines should be extended three years, including at least one year in cask white wines require six months each in barrel and bottle. Rosados â€‹â€‹(rosÃ©), there are not as Reserva (and not as Gran Riserva). See also Reserve .
Gran Reserva: Red wines must be matured for at least 24 months in barrel and a further 36 months in the bottle. Some wineries produce long-lived white wines, which mature at least six months in barrel and 42 months in the bottle. See also Reserve .
Vino de Author: Informal name (dt Author wine) for special quality wines produced in particularly good vintages from selected grapes in limited quantities. Above all, this is practiced by smaller companies, especially in the area of â€‹â€‹Rioja Alava, with the trend of the so-called Garage Wine . follow These wines are usually very expensive bottle sold with prices up to â‚¬ 200.
There are about 20,000 growers, producing 98% of which only deliver on great grapes and wineries. The more than 500 wineries produce annually about three million hectoliters of wine, 40% of which is exported worldwide. Well-known producers are Alicia Rojas , BarÃ³n de Ley , Berberana , BilbaÃnas , Bodegas Altanza , , BretÃ³n Criadores , Campillo , Carlos Serres Castillo de Fuenmayor, Corral , CVNE , Domecq Bodegas , El Coto de Rioja , Faustino , Finca Allende , La Rioja Alta , LÃ³pez de Heredia , MarquÃ©s de CÃ¡ceres , MarquÃ©s de GriÃ±Ã³n , MarquÃ©s de Murrieta , MarquÃ©s de Riscal , MarquÃ©s de Vargas , Martinez Bujanda , Montecillo , Muga , OntaÃ±Ã³n , Paternina , Primicia , Puelles , RamÃ³n Bilbao , RemÃrez de Ganuza , RIOJANAS , Roda , Telmo Rodriguez , Torre de OÃ±a , ViÃ±a Salceda , ViÃ±edos de Aldeanueva , , ViÃ±edos y Bodegas de la Marquesa , Winner Wines .