Max. Summer temp. : 36-38 ºC
Min. Winter temp. : -4 ºC
Average rainfall: 350-450 mm annually
Average sunshine: 2,800 hours annually
Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to obtain DO status in 1925. In 1991, it was promoted to DOCa (Qualified Designation of Origin), a higher category reserved for wines maintaining a proven consistency and quality over a long period of time.
Rioja DOCa is known primarily for its reds though it also makes some whites and rosés. Most bodegas still use their own formulas for blending red wines, still being the most the ones from Tempranillo, the noblest of the native Spanish vines. This grape gives the wines their elegance, concentration of aromas and complexity of flavours. It is this, as well as oak ageing, which gives the wines such personality and individuality.
At the same time Rioja wines have evolved steadily. Today they offer a broad range of styles. Wines include varietals; blended wines which are shifting the emphasis from oak to fruit; organic wines; and, at the top end of the market, the Reservas and Gran Reservas.
The changes in winemaking implemented in the past decade have produced excellent results. New generations of growers and makers have placed their faith in the renovation of facilities, with new barrels and steel vats, as well as an emphasis on careful selection at harvest and later ageing of the harvested fruit.
The desire of producers in the Rioja to reaffirm their aspiration for excellence has contributed to their the consolidation of an image of prestige among consumers and has made them a reference for Spanish wines worldwide. The development of productive and commercial structures in the Rioja and the prestige attained by their wines has also positioned the area among the elite in historical European denominations of origin.
Consejo Regulador de la DOCa Rioja
Tel: (+34) 941 500 400
- Spanish Ministry of Agriculture
- Regulatory Council, Qualified Protected Designation of Origin Rioja
Rioja is now one of the five best-known and most prestigious wine-producing regions of the world.