What is Rioja?
- Rioja is a major wine growing region in Northern Spain
- Best known for it’s red grapes however do also make white and rose wines
- Rioja is a DOC, four quality levels:
- Tinto Joven 1 year ageing in oak or bottle
- Crianza, 2 years, must be at least 1 year in oak
- Reserva, 3 years ageing, 1 year in oak
- Gran Reserva, 5 years ageing, two years in oak
- Tempranillo is the king grape of Rioja
- Red Rioja wines are mostly Tempranillo blended with Granacha Tinta, Graciano, Mazuelo or Maturana
- American oak is used
- Pronounced ree-oh-ha
Where is Rioja?
- Northern Spain below the border with France
- Three areas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Oriental and Rioja Alavesa
- River Ebro runs through the region
- Ancient Romans first grew grapes here. When the Christians took the region back from the Moors in the 15th century winemaking began again
What to Rioja wines taste like?
- young reds have great fruit and roundness
- Soft in acid, like Merlot
- Sweet and tanic
What food pairs well with wines from Rioja?
- Lamb, rich intense meats, fatty stews,