Red wine Reserva. 36 months in American oak barrels and 36 months in bottle. Winery: La Rioja Alta. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo.
Red wine Crianza. 14 months in French and American oak barrels. Winery: Viña Real. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Reserva. 72 months in American oak barrels. Winery: Viña Tondonia. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuela and Graciano.
Rosé wine Young. Winery: Muga. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Viura and Tempranillo.
Red wine Crianza. 12 months in French and American oak barrels. Winery: Luis Cañas. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta and Tempranillo.
Red wine Gran Reserva. 48 months in American oak barrels. Winery: La Rioja Alta. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo and Graciano.
Red wine Reserva Non-certified biodynamic. 17 months in different kind of barrels. Winery: Remelluri. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Graciano and Tempranillo.
Red wine Gran Reserva. 30 months in American oak barrels. Winery: Bodegas Riojanas. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo
Red wine Reserva. 26 months in French and American oak barrels and 12 months in bottle. Winery: Muga. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Reserva. 16 months in American oak barrels. Winery: Marqués de Murrieta. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Mazuela, Graciano and Tempranillo.
Red wine Gran Reserva. 48 months in different kind of barrels. Winery: Muga. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuela and Graciano.
Rosé wine Young. Winery: Faustino. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo
Red wine Crianza. 16 months in French and American oak barrels. Winery: Izadi. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo
Red wine Crianza. 12 months in French and American oak barrels. Winery: Palacios Remondo. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo and Mazuela.
Red wine Crianza. 12 months in American oak barrels. Winery: Muriel. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo
Red wine Crianza. 24 months in French and American oak barrels and 12 months in bottle. Winery: Muga. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Tempranillo, Mazuela and Graciano.
Red wine Crianza. 12 months in French and American oak barrels. Winery: López de Haro. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Garnacha Tinta, Graciano and Tempranillo.
Red wine Reserva. 20 months in American oak barrels. Winery: Barón de Ley. D.O.Ca. Rioja. (La Rioja) Coupage: Tempranillo
Rioja is a qualified denomination of origin that extends along the Ebro River over the regions of La Rioja and the Basque country, and to a lesser extent Navarra and Castille and León.
La Rioja has more than 2000 years of history linked to the world of wine. The cultivation of the vine was introduced by the Romans, as many archaeological remains are wineries and cellars, and later it was continued by the Phoenicians and Celts.
During the Middle Ages the wine culture grew around the monasteries. In the 13th century, Gonzalo de Berceo, a clergyman of the Suso Monastery and the first well-known Spanish poet, mentioned the wine culture in his verses which meant that it was one of the first written wine references in Spain.
Back in the Dark Ages, with the continuing increase of the population in the cities, wine gained popularity and economic importance in the region, along with the grain becoming an economic engine in the area.
Such was the importance it acquired in the wine trade, in 1787 the Real Junta de Cosecheros (Royal Board of Harvesters) created an aim to promote the cultivation of the wine, especially from the northern countries. With this objective, they built and improved roads and bridges which united the people in Rioja with the port in Santander, the north port that would help distribute the wines on their route to northern Europe.
In the second half of the nineteenth century the first “explosion” of Riojan wines were produced. The crisis caused by phylloxera in the French vineyards and the arrival of the rail road facilities caused the exportation of wines from La Rioja to France; a very mature and eager market for the arrival of these good wines.
They began to appear which would eventually lead them to becoming the main relevant names in the Denomination. Rafael López Heredia (Bodega Viña Tondonia), Luciano Murrieta (Bodega Marqués de Murrieta) or Camilo Hurtado de Amézaga (Marqués de Riscal) founded their wineries; today they are known as the great figures in La Rioja, and they introduce new wine making techniques and aging. The quality of the Riojan wines experienced a dramatic turn, from selling in bulk to selling by the bottle like Bordeaux wines, they searched for fineness and quality after a long aging. They began to write modern history for Rioja wine.
However at the end of the nineteenth century, La Rioja suffered a setback that would be a major break in the evolution of wine production.
The dreaded phylloxera passed over the boarders and settled in La Rioja. In 1902 it extended to La Rioja Alta and in 1904 to the rest of the areas.
With practically all of La Rioja infected they had to replant many of the vines with an American variety that was resistant to phylloxera. However, the replanting of the vineyards was a long and costly process. It was not until the twenties that the crisis ended.
Once the phylloxera crisis passed, La Rioja was going through a continuous process of renovation and modernisation, adapting to new consumer demands that lead them to become one worldwide reference in terms of areas that produce wine. On 6th June 1925 La Rioja was recognised as the first Denomination of Origin in Spain, they tried to protect the Riojan “brand”, and the quality of the wines from possible forgeries.
In 1991, La Rioja became one of the first Qualified Denominations of Origin (DOC) in Spain. They established areas of production, grape varieties and maximum permitted yield as well as processing and aging techniques.
This recognition led to confidence from many consumers, and today it led to La Rioja becoming one of the most emblematic areas of development that is recognised worldwide.
Character: grape, soil and climate
La Rioja has a continental climate with Mediterranean influences, more or less marked depending on the area. Two very different climates, practically opposite, providing mild temperatures and an average annual rainfall of 450-500 litres per square metre. This unique climate, passes by the River Ebro throughout the denomination and close to the Sierras de Cantabria, Demanda and Cameros which makes this area unique and a privileged place to grow vines.
La Rioja is divided into three areas of production: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. Three areas that are determined by diverse natural factors and, with a different in climate and soil.
La Rioja Alta is the most western part of the denomination and is boarded in the north with the right bank of the River Ebro as well as extending along the left bank too. Haro, one of the most important towns, and specifically its Barrio de la Estación, is known as the area with the largest concentration of wineries per square metre some are legendary like Viña Tondonia, Muga or Rioja Alta.
San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Brines, Ábalos, Samaniego or Cenicero are other historical towns with a great tradition for producing wine.
La Rioja Alta has a moderate continental climate, marked by a cantabrian influence. The altitude at which the vines are planted ranges from 380 to 500 meters above sea level.
In Rioja Alta we encounter a great diversity of soils. The majority are clay-limestone soil, however there are also clay-ferrous soils and original fluvial soils; very rich in gravel and limestone.
The main variety that is grown in the area is Tempranillo, the local variety in La Rioja. Its fruity wines and alcohol content are well balanced, with good results that produces a long aging.
La Rioja Baja is the eastern most part of the denomination and it extends along the right bank of the Ebro River.
Among some of the most important towns for the production of wine to be found are Alfaro, Aldeanueva de Ebro or Mendavia.
It has a drier climate and a major influence from the Mediterranean than La Rioja Alta. The land is more soft and the altitude that the vines can be found at is lower than the two other areas in La Rioja, between 260 and 380 meters above sea level. The soils in La Rioja Baja are mainly soils of fluvial origin, however there are also clay-ferrous soils.
The climate, more benevolent, and the soils are very fertile. They create an ideal scene for the perfect ripening of the grapes, proving very good harvests.
They also cultivate an important percentage of Tempranillo, however the main variety grown in La Rioja Baja is Grenache variety. A variety that provides highly aromatic wines with less acidity and tannins than those based on Tempranillo variety.
La Rioja Alavesa can be found in the south of the Álava province, marked out by the River Ebro in the south and the Sierra Cantabria in the north.
Many of the towns have a long history with the production of wines, among them are Elciego, Laguardia or Labastida.
There is a very special micro climate. A Mediterranean climate with a huge influence from the Cantabrian Sea, however mitigated by the protection provided by the natural barrier of Sierra de Cantabria.
The majority of the soils are clay-calcerous, in the estates located in small terraces at an altitude between 400 to 600 metres above sea level. They are soils that have excellent characteristics for growing grapes.
The main variety that is grown is Tempranillo, and these climatic conditions and soils have the results of a great wine with maximum quality, very delicate and exquisite.
In addition to these Tempranillo and Grenache, in La Rioja they also cultivate the Graciano and Mazuelo varieties; their role is to be an ideal complement to the other two varieties. Also they have planted some main white varieties like Viura, Malvasía, White Grenache and White Tempranillo.
However the most well-known Rioja wine is the red one, they also produce white and rosé wines.
The rosé wines are normally produced with the Grenache variety. Typically young wines are consumed, however there are some wineries that age rosé wines and get very good results.
The white wines are usually made from the Viura variety, mixed with Malavasía or some other varieties that are grown. The whites can be young, fermented in the barrel or aged with the aging in the barrel. They range from fruity whites that are younger to white wines that are more complex as a result of the long aging.
The red wines are wines that have given worldwide fame to this denomination. Young red wines are consumed on the year, sometimes produced by the process of carbonic maceration. The crianza reds are wines that have been aging for at least a year in oak barrels, and the wood influence shows in these wines.
The Reserva Rioja wine are wines with a minimum aging of three years in oak barrels and the bottle, having spent a minimum of one year in the barrel. They tend to have more complex aromas supported by the aging such as notes of spices, leather and ripe fruit.
Finally, the Gran Reserva wines are wines with a minimum aging time of two years in oak barrels and three years in the bottle. They are characterised by complex aromas of spices, smoke and resin. On the mouth they are soft, velvety and very polished tannins.
Main wineries in Rioja
The list of wineries that we found in La Rioja is endless, and there are more than 500 wineries that produce wine in this denomination.
Along with the aforementioned Viña Tondonia, Marqués de Riscal and Marqués de Murrieta, there are other historical wineries like Bodegas Muga, Bodegas Riojanas, or Bodegas Faustino, all with production methods that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Newly constructed wineries like Bodegas Ysios, Bodegas Olarra or Bodegas Baigorri, feature modern and excellent wine production facilities.
Finally, we find other wineries that produce Rioja wine with a more modern edge, among them are Sierra Cantabria, Bodegas Contador or Remírez de Ganuza.
Are you looking for any wine in particular?
Don't you know which wine to choose?
Do not worry, we can help you to find the best wine for you.