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,