You may be surprised to learn that American oak actually plays a huge role in the production of Rioja wines. This practice actually has a long history dating back to the 1800s. Although it is a longstanding history as the traditional method for Rioja wines, in recent years the tradition has faded a little.
Rioja wines are almost all created by using a blend of different grapes but, generally speaking, the tempranillo grape is the MVP. Typically the tempranillo grape is the staple and makes up the majority of most Spanish wine Riojas. Tempranillo grape is then mixed with other grapes to achieve a certain desired flavor profile.
The origin of winemaking in Spain dates back to the second millennium BC, and it is presumed that the first grape plants, or Vitis Vinifera, come from the Spanish region Empordá-Costa Brava. In the Rioja region, winemaking can be traced back to the 11th century B.C with the arrival of the Phoenicians. Since then, local populations have made wine in the region almost continuously. Viña Valoria was established in 1860 and is now one of the oldest wineries with the Rioja Certification of Origin as well as one of few companies that can market “old vintages”.
As we’ve seen in other posts, Spanish wine has very specific aging requirements especially when it comes to wine that has a Certification of Origin or Qualified Certification of Origin. These requirements are monitored by the Control Board, which includes grape growers, winemakers, and Administration representatives. It ensures compliance with the Certification of Origin standards in order to protect the type and quality of Rioja wines.
Winemaking is not a new tradition by any means. Actually, there is evidence to show that the oldest evidence of winemaking could be dated all the way back to 6,000 B.C. The tradition of vine cultivation and winemaking in Spain is no less than in France or Italy, and the size of the vineyards is also similar.
It is sometimes said that it is thanks to the climate in France or Italy that their wine could be better, but if we take a closer look at the climatic statistics, it turns out that there are always appellations or regions in Spain, that can compare climatically to other regions and appellations in France and Italy. In California, the tradition of winemaking started during the period of Spanish colonization. According to records, the first planting of a vineyard happened in 1683 in the area of Baja California.
How much do you know about Rioja reds? Maybe it’s been a long-time favorite of yours or maybe you’re looking to try something new. In case you didn’t know, Rioja isn’t the grape, bests rioja wines it’s actually the most famous wine region in Spain. The most well-known grape from the region is the tempranillo grape. Around 85% of the wine that comes from the Rioja region is red wine but, not all Riojas are red, there are also some white Riojas as well as some rosés.
When talking about types of red wine in Spain, we are not going to talk about whether it is aged or not, and if it is aged, what types are there. Let’s focus on another aspect that is believed to be the newest trend, not only in red wines but also in white wines and any type of wine in general. Generally, referring to the types of red wine according to the grapes from which they are made.
If you’re looking for a new wine to try, consider Rioja. It’s one of the best-known wine regions in Spain, and it produces some of the country’s best wines. For wine-lovers in the US, Rioja wine might not sound very familiar but it’s definitely an incredible wine to get to know.