La Rioja wine

by Neil Morris

ramon-bilbao-winery

Even if you know very little about Spanish wine you will be aware of La Rioja; it is the best known Spanish wine region and one of only two (along with Priorat) to carry the prestigious Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.C.) status. The region is divided into three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa (which incorporates wines from the neighbouring Basque Country).

La Rioja is also famous for producing predominantly red wines but there has been a significant change in this area. A movement being dubbed 'the white revolution' is taking place under the indicative banner of Valles de Sadacia; a Protected Geographical Indication of quality wines which comprises of only white wines produced within the limits of the Autonomous Community of La Rioja.

rioja Muga

Since 2003 the project has had notable success within the market and has been described as "the greatest revolution in white wines in the entire history of La Rioja." Despite a mixed reaction, an important debate was opened that led to the approval by the (D.O.C.) of Rioja of accepting new white varieties; the first time new varieties have been incorporated since its creation in 1925.

If you are a fan of white wines, keep an eye on wines from the Valles de Sadacia as they are being crafted in excellent conditions by wine makers of incredible craft and experience. They are producing fruity and aromatic wines with a contemporary style that are aimed at pleasing the tastes of the modern consumer.

One of the most entertaining wine events in the world takes place in the city of Haro which plays host to an annual wine festival on June 29th, the day of San Pedro. On the day of the festival it is customary to meet in town early in the morning dressed in white and wearing a red scarf. A procession through the town is then followed by a mass at the Hermitage of San Felices de Bilibio after which the fun really begins. The participants in the festival are all armed with receptacles containing red wine; there are buckets, bottles, jugs, water guns and various other containers and contraptions. Just before noon a wine battle breaks out in which everyone, young and old, gets soaked from head to toe in red wine, leaving their white T-shirts stained a bright shade of purple!...and they say the people of Rioja take their wine too seriously!

Denominaciónes de Origen

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Vino de La Tierra

valles de sadacia

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