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Rioja Wine Region

Located south of the Cantabrian Mountains along the Ebro river, La Rioja benefits from a continental climate. The mountains help to isolate the region which has a moderating effect on the climate. They also protect the vineyards from the fierce winds that are typical of northern Spain. The region is also home to the Oja river (Rio Oja), believed to have given the region its name.

The three principal regions of La Rioja are Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja with each area producing its own unique expression of Rioja wine.

A distinct characteristic of Rioja wine is the effect of oak aging, introduced by Bordeaux influenced winemakers.

Rioja red wines are classified into four categories. The first, simply labeled Rioja, is the youngest, spending less than a year in an oak aging barrel. A crianza is wine aged for at least two years, at least one of which was in oak. Rioja Reserva is aged for at least three years, of which at least one year is in oak. Finally, Rioja Gran Reserva wines have been aged at least two years in oak and three years in bottle.

Notable Rioja producers – Benjamin Romeo (Contador received 100 RP points in 2004 and 2005)

Notable vintages – 2012, 2009, 2005, 2004, 2001, 1996, 1994, 1987

View our stock list of wines from this region