Spain’s Rioja region has always been a trailblazer in the wine world. In fact, back in 1924, before designations of origin were even created, winemakers in the region were looking for ways to formally distinguish their wines in the marketplace. The first official regulation of this kind was established back in 1928.
The region continues to be a pioneer in all things wine, and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food recently recognized the region’s “Singular Vineyards,” of which there are 84.
This refers to specific plots with highly unique agricultural, geological and climatological characteristics which give rise to wines with very unique qualities. These wines are made from grapes in vineyards that are more than 35 years old and which naturally yield, at most, 5,000 kilograms per hectare for red wines and 6,900 kilograms per hectare in the case of white wines. The grapes are harvested manually, the vineyards are tended to with environmentally friendly methods, and 65 liters of wine are made with every 100 kilos of grapes. The process to receive this distinction commenced in 2017.
Another aspect that will set these wines apart is the fact that they will be evaluated two times: after they’re made and prior to sale. These wines will also bear labels that will indicate it as coming from a “Singular Vineyard.”