La Rioja, where Spain’s most popular wines come from

La Rioja is land of the world famous wine.
On the banks of the river Rio Oja, with views of scattering vineyards and beautiful mountain ranges.
Despite being located in the north of Spain, the land boasts of Mediterranean climate. In La Rioja, grape harvesting is done by hand almost everywhere. Most vines are bush-trained and modern machines cannot be used to aid the process — that’s maybe why Rioja wines blossom in such rich and flavorsome bodies.

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Did you know? Haro is a small town in La Rioja. This town was once (a hundred years ago) a very cosmopolitan town with a vibrant nightlife and even casinos.

The current D.O.C La Rioja wine-producing region is divided into three sub-regions: La Rioja Alta is famous of fine elegant wines with moderate alcohol contents, La Rioja Alavesa produces the more fruity wines and La Rioja Baja have the red juicy grapes with higher alcohol content. However, one of the most famous Rioja wines is the Tempranillo, a young fruity wine.

Although La Rioja is a world renown wine-producing region in Spain, many small family-based businesses still today have kept viticulture very traditional. These small firms produce the grapes which are then transferred to large corporations that turn into some of the big name Rioja wines.

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Most common Rioja Grape varieties

Tempranillo

Tempranillo

The most important grape variety that make Rioja’s famous fruity Tempranillo wines.

 

 

Granacha

Garnacha

The most common variety from La Rioja Baja region. It is mostly used for blending with Tempranillo.

 

 

Malvasia

Malvasía

Like the Garnacha, it is used to harmonize and wines, this one is particularly for white wines.

 

 

Graciano

Graciano

Also mainly used for blending, because of its low yields, acidity and freshness.

 

 

Mazuelo

Mazuelo

Smaller in size, with quite some acidity and aging potential – great for blending too.

 

 

Macabeo

Viura (or Macabeo)

These are the most important white Rioja grapes usually used for young and lively white wines.


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