Today we are going to find out a little more about one of the five most important winegrowing regions in the world: The Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin.
Welcome to Rioja.
Today we are going to find out a little more about one of the five most important winegrowing regions in the world: The Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin.
Welcome to Rioja.
If you want to visit Rioja, I recommend approaching it through the Herrera pass (what a coincidence that this is also my first surname) and stopping at the viewpoint to gaze at the countryside spreading out below you.
From there we come into an amazing area. A paradise for vines.
That is why the Rioja Designation of Origin is the oldest in Spain.
This Designation of Origin is divided into 3 zones - Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental - which, in turn, are located in three Autonomous Regions: La Rioja, Euskadi and Navarra.
Rioja is the leader in Spain with more than 600 wineries, 14,800 winegrowers and the largest number of barrels in the world. It exports to 130 countries.
Its secret? A magnificent area just 115 kilometres long and between 40 and 60 kilometres wide, irrigated by the Ebro river.
Protected from the north winds by the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range and from the south winds by the Sierra de la Demanda, the weather is ideal for growing grapes.
The varied soil also helps make this ancient area a very fertile land.
The three main soil types are: calcareous clay, ferruginous clay and alluvium. In Rioja Alavesa, with its rugged relief, we normally find small vineyards, located on terraces and gentle slopes, with calcareous clay soils. Rioja Oriental is flatter, has larger vineyards and here alluvium soil is more common. Rioja Alta combines the characteristics of the other two areas, with all three soil types and varied microclimates.
I refer to this land as ancient because there are many vestiges dating back to Neolithic times that are worth visiting, especially several very well-preserved dolmens and the town of La Hoya.
I don't want to bore you with too much history, but I do want to mention a few things that will help you understand this magical region.
The Romans were the first to discover the winegrowing potential of this land.
In the Middle Ages it continued to develop, protected by the monasteries. In San Millán de la Cogolla, Gonzalo de Berceo was the first poet to extol the wine in the Spanish language.
In 1787, two years before the French Revolution, the Royal Board of Winegrowers in Rioja was founded.
However, talking of France, the real growth in Rioja and its wine came with the arrival of the train and when phylloxera affected the vineyards in Bordeaux.
The French were forced to look for the best wines outside their lands, and many of them set their sights on Haro.
French winemakers and merchants established their facilities in the so-called Barrio de la Estación neighbourhood. From there they moved their wine by train to Bilbao; and from there, by sea to Bordeaux
In 1863 Haro became the wine capital and in 1890 it was the first Spanish city to have electricity, along with Jerez.
In 1925, Rioja became the first designation of origin in Spain and in 1991 it also became the first to obtain the status of “Qualified”, a distinction established by Spanish Law to recognise those designations of origin that meet certain control and quality requirements. Rioja was unique in having this distinction until the year 2000, when it was also granted to the Priorat Designation of Origin.
As can logically be deduced from the history, the first great wineries were established in Haro: López de Heredia, Muga, Bodegas Bilbaínas, Rioja Alta... centuries-old wineries with a great tradition.
However, the wineries of Rioja have adapted to modern times and continue to innovate.
As we have seen before, in Rioja there are more than 600 wineries. So if you would like a guide to help plan a visit to them and discover what they have to offer, I can recommend a website that I really like: http://www.vinoturismorioja.com
Here, you will also find routes that take in vineyards, towns, museums and monuments ... and everything you could need to make your trip an unforgettable experience.
At another time we will talk specifically about vineyards and grapes, but for now I would like to talk about those used in Rioja.
The most common Rioja grapes are Tempranillo for red (87%) and Viura for white (70%).
The Regulations of the Designation of Origin determine the grape varieties that can be used in the production of Rioja wines, as well as the minimum and maximum percentages of each of these.
For decades there were only seven varieties authorized by the Regulatory Council: four red (tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo and graciano) and three white (viura, malvasía and garnacha blanca). At the beginning of 2007, for the first time since it was established the Council approved the addition of new varieties.
Currently there are five red and nine white: tempranillo, garnacha, mazuelo, graciano and maturana tinta, on the one hand, and viura, malvasía, garnacha blanca, tempranillo blanco, maturana blanco, turruntés, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and verdejo, on the other.
The Regulatory Council of the Designation of Origin Rioja is responsible for guaranteeing the excellent quality of Rioja wines.
It classifies the wines into four categories, according to the ageing.
Generics: these are usually young wines in their first or second year, or other authorised wines that are difficult to classify, such as signature wines
Crianza: these are wines in their third year that have spent at least one year in oak barrels
Reserva: very select wines with a minimum ageing of three years in oak barrel and bottle
Gran Reserva: these are wines from great vintages that have been aged for a total of sixty months with a minimum of two years in oak barrels and 2 years in the bottle
Recently, the Regulatory Council has added a new classification of wines: viñedo singular, vinos de municipio and vinos de zona. In the next article I will explain the differences.
To guarantee the quality of Rioja wines, the regulations for the designation establish, among other things, the minimum and maximum number of vines that can be planted per hectare; the use or not of irrigation systems; how to prune the plants, including the number of buds per vine; the alcoholic strength of the harvested grapes; the maximum grape production per hectare; the processing techniques, which exclude the use of certain types of press and other machines; the forms and conditions of ageing the wine, which prohibit the use of pieces of wood to provide aromas at low cost; and the requirements for the ageing cellars, which must have a minimum number of Bordeaux oak barrels to be considered as such.
If you want to know more about the Regulatory Council and its regulations, you can visit its website: https://www.riojawine.com/es-es/
Shall we follow the path? Rioja, in addition to wine, also offers culture, countryside, history and gastronomy, with dishes such as Rioja-style potatoes, stews, kidney bean and chorizo stew and, of course, lamb chops grilled over a fire of vines and served with roasted red peppers.
The French Way of Saint James passes through this land of contrasts and, also along this path, we can discover the diversity and charm of Rioja: from huts and ancient castles to small and modern wineries that have made Rioja home to a different form of tourism. Wine tourism.
Therefore, I would like to finish this post today by recommending three wineries that offer accommodation and great food.
Selected as the Best Winery Hotel in Spain by the International Wine Challenge Merchant Awards in 2018
This is a modern winery with renowned wines where you can stay in a cosy hotel designed by the young architect Javier Arizcuren, who wove a symbolic staircase through it linking the various cubes that make up the rooms, the dining room, the cellar, the tasting room and the bedrooms over the winery cellar. To complete its charm, the rooms were created by the designer David Delfín.
In addition to a spectacular setting, you can also enjoy its spa with direct views over the vineyard and the excellent food on offer in its Tierra restaurant.
They call it the City of Wine. It is probably the most striking wine tourism architecture in the region, if not the best known in the world. The titanium blades that form the red roof of the building can be seen from a long way away. This spectacular architecture by Frank Gehry is being used by this legendary winery to boost its wine exports to Asia, America and the new emerging countries. In addition, of course, it also allows it to provide accommodation and haute cuisine, following advice provided by Francis Paniego, to international tourists who want to share this experience.
Near Laguardia, in the hills of Páganos, we find Victorino Eguren's estate which has stood there since 1870. Recently its facilities have been extended to accommodate 21 open and bright rooms that look out over a 130-hectare vineyard which produces the extravagant red wines that all of the travellers can enjoy with their dinner. Accommodation, gastronomy, oenology and the countryside, a delicious combination.
And, now, to enjoy the art of good living!
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What else should I know?
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Our website may contain links to other pages, which are not managed by us. BOJ is not responsible for the processing of your data on these third-party pages or for the compliance of the latter regarding provisions on data protection. Please consider the Information on Data Protection that they provide.
How do we process your data (appearance of the website, connections, cookies, tracking, etc.)?/p>
1. Appearance of the web page, navigation data
To display the web page on your browser, we use multiple devices to ensure that all content (text, images, video, etc.) is always up to date. To ensure that your user experience, in particular the loading speed of the web, is constantly improving, we also use technical service providers that allow us to display the content that is required for the appearance of the web (hereinafter, "Content Distribution Network" or "CDN"). These technical service providers of CDN work in accordance with the instructions of BOJ, having signed with the latter the corresponding Data Controller agreement. The data collected for this purpose may only be used to display the contents of the web page in your browser more quickly and will be deleted immediately after you have accessed the page.
For technical reasons, every time your web browser accesses our website, it automatically sends information to our server (e.g. browsing data). Part of this information is stored in log files, such as:
Navigation data does not include personal data. We only analyse the navigation data when necessary, especially for fixing bugs in the operation of our website or to resolve security incidents. We store this data indefinitely.
Occasionally, we find it necessary to collect the IP address of your device, as well as the navigation data to resolve faults or to keep evidence related to security incidents. This data is eliminated once the fault has been resolved or the security incident has been resolved completely, or if the initial purpose of the processing has ceased to exist for other reasons. In the event of a security breach, we will communicate the relevant connection data to the investigating authorities, whenever necessary and permitted by law.
We store browsing data separately from other collected data related to the use of our website.
2. Register on our website
You can register on our website to use different services. As part of the registration process, we collect and process the following data:
Consent to receive advertising and the possibility of revoking it
We store the data of registered users until the user deletes their account. Registered users can delete their account at any time, through the "My Data" section within their user account. The user account also allows the user to modify or delete at any time the information provided at the time of registration.
3. Quick registration (Registration option through a social network)
On linking both accounts, you no longer need to additionally register on our website. To do this, a cookie will be installed in your browser and will be used on your next visit to the web.
The purpose of the processing of personal data in this context is to be able to provide the services of our website, specifically, the option of registration through a social network. We store data of registered users until the account is deleted. Registered users can delete their accounts at any time through the "My Data” page. The user account also gives you the option of changing or deleting, at any time, any data that was entered during registration.
9. BOJ blog subscription
Our website offers the option to subscribe to a newsletter with the latest publications of our blog. If you subscribe to receive these newsletters and, therefore, consent to us sending you them, your data will only be used for this purpose and you will not receive any additional communication. We are authorised to process your data in this context with your consent, which you may revoke at any time. Regarding the latter, a link is included on each copy of our newsletters and we will take note of your decision to opt-out in our data base.
11. Participation in promotions / draws
When you register for promotions / draws, we store and use the information you provide us with, to carry out the promotion / draw and to fulfil any later phase thereof. The data we collect for this purpose depends on the registration form on the page of the draw or contest in question.
Your personal data will be deleted when no longer needed for the promotion / draw or for the follow-up thereof.
14. Our pages on Social Networks
The protection of your privacy in the processing of personal data is important to us. We process the personal data transmitted to us and that which is collected during your visit to our respective pages on social networks (for example, Facebook Fanpage, Instagram / Pinterest Page), confidentially and only in accordance with legal provisions.
The Controller for the processing of your data through our pages on social networks is the operator of the corresponding social network (see examples below), together with us. To the extent that the processing of this data takes place within our scope of responsibility, we are at your disposal in all matters relating to data protection and the exercise of your rights in accordance with the content of this information on data protection.
Data processed by the Social Networks provider
The social media service processes your personal data when you access any of our pages. The processing of your data occurs, for example, in the following cases:
In the data protection policy of the provider of the social network, you can find out what personal data they collect, how it is processed and what data protection rights you have against said provider. We are not responsible for the processing of data by the social network provider.
Data processed by us
On the website provided by us via the social network, the provider of said network grants us access to the following categories of data:
Statistical analyses which provide information on the use of our web page on the social network. The analyses which are visible to us do not allow us to individually analyse the usage behaviour of individuals. We can only see aggregated data (such as the number of visits, likes, followers, region of origin, age group, gender, etc.) that informs us about our audience and the use of our site. The user data underlying the analyses is not transmitted.
We can segment the target group we want to reach for the social network page or for individual publications. The configuration is based on general parameters (for example, age group, language, region, interest) that can be used to adapt our content to specific groups. It is not possible for us to address or identify individuals based on the data provided by the social network provider.
If you contact us directly through the social network provider or interact with us in any other way, transmitting personal data consciously (for example, via a chat or a direct message with us using the social network), we store and process this personal data for the purposes for which such information was transmitted to us.
We process this data exclusively in order to publicise the content of our social network page to the target group, as well as to better understand and optimise the use thereof.
In addition, we cannot decide on the purpose or the processing of data performed by the social network provider.
To find out what personal data is collected by the social network provider, how they are processed and what data protection rights you have against that provider, see the following data protection guidelines:
a) Facebook Inc. 1601 S California Ave, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA; http://www.facebook.com/policy.php. Facebook is subject to the EU-US Privacy Shield.
b) Twitter, Inc. 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco, California 94103, USA; https://twitter.com/privacy. Twitter is subject to the EU-US Privacy Shield.
c) Instagram, provided by Facebook Ireland Limited, 4 Grand Canal Square, Dublin 2, Ireland; https://help.instagram.com/519522125107875
d) Pinterest Europe Ltd., Palmerston House, 2nd Floor, Fenian Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; https://policy.pinterest.com/en/privacy-policy
e) Snapchat for the countries of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland: SNAP GROUP LIMITED 7-11 Lexington Street, London, United Kingdom, W1F 9AF. For all other countries: SNAP Inc, 2772 Donald Douglas, Loop North Santa Monica, CA 90405 United States, USA. SNAP is subject to the EU-US Privacy Shield.
f) LinkedIn for the countries of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland: LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company, Wilton Plaza, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland. For all other countries: LinkedIn Corporation, 1000 W. Maude Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94085, USA. The LinkedIn Corporation is subject to the EU-US Privacy Shield.
g) Xing SE, Dammtorstrasse 30, 20354 Hamburg, Germany; https://privacy.xing.com/en/privacy-policy
16. Below, we explain in detail what technologies and providers we use to analyse your user behaviour:
Google Ad Server
We use the online marketing tool Google Ad Server (formerly DoubleClick) of Google LLC,1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA ("Google").
Usage data will be deleted after 540 days from the time of collection. For more information on DoubleClick, visit: https://www.google.com/doubleclick o la política de privacidad de Google en general: https://policies.google.com/privacy
We use the online marketing tools of Google at our own risk. To this end, we have agreed with Google on a data protection agreement that our customers' data may only be processed based on our instructions, that it may not be transmitted to third parties and shall be sufficiently protected technically.
Non-acceptance / cancellation: To permanently prevent the collection of data on usage, Google has a plug-in for several web browsers: http://www.google.com/settings/ads/plugin
To disable only interest-based ads, you can block the use of third-party cookies or cookies from the domain "www.googleadservices.com" or disable interest-based ads using this link at: https://www.google.com/settings/ads
Facebook pixels and custom audiences
We use the online marketing tools "Facebook Pixels and Custom Audiences" from Facebook Inc. 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. and Facebook Ireland Ltd. 4 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbor, Dublin 2, Ireland, if you are a resident of the EU ("Facebook").
Facebook processes your data at its own risk as part of Facebook's data usage policy. You can find information about Facebook ads and Facebook pixels at the following links: https://www.facebook.com/policy and https://www.facebook.com/business/help/651294705016616
Non-acceptance / cancellation: To permanently avoid the collection of data on usage, visit the Facebook data protection policy. As a registered user of Facebook, you can also set what types of ads are displayed within Facebook. To do this, click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=ads
Google Ads and Remarketing
This website uses the online marketing tools “Google Ads & Remarketing” of Google LLC,1600 Amphitheater Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA ("Google"). Google is subject to the EU-US Privacy Shield https://www.privacyshield.gov/EU-US-Framework
We use the online marketing tools of Google at our own risk.
The cookies used in this service generally lose their validity after 30 days and are not meant to identify you personally. Google only provides us with statistical evaluations and processes your information in accordance with Google's data usage policy. You can find more information at the following link: https://policies.google.com/privacy
Non-acceptance / cancellation: To permanently prevent the collection of data on usage, Google has a plug-in for several web browsers: http://www.google.com/settings/ads/plugin. To disable interest-based ads, you can block the use of third-party cookies or cookies from the domain "www.googleadservices.com" or disable interest-based ads through this link at: https://www.google.com/settings/ads
Interest advertisements can also be disabled via the link: http://www.aboutads.info/choices if the provider has joined the self-regulation campaign: "About Ads".
18. Social networks and similar networks and services.
The content of our website can be shared on social networks using the Share button. All the buttons that allow content sharing are integrated by using simple links instead of social plugins developed by social network providers. This ensures that your data is not automatically transmitted to social network servers when you access our website. In addition, when you share content on our website, we only transmit to the social network the information necessary to share the corresponding content (for example, the link to the content you want to share). In this context, we do not transfer personal data.
In turn, you can find simple links to our web pages on social networks. If you access a link on our website from a social network, or if you enter your social network to share content on our website, your data will be processed by the social network provider in question.
If you are registered and logged into other networks or services that require registration while using our website or some individual functions (for example, Vimeo, YouTube), the respective network / service may collect information about its use or adopt configurations, such as Video playback status. However, this data is solely collected by the respective network / service under its own responsibility for data protection and processed by the corresponding provider.
For more information about the purpose and scope of such data collection, its subsequent processing and use on the part of the social network provider, as well as related rights and adjustment options to protect your privacy, please refer to the Data Protection Information published on the website of the respective provider.
22. Modifications to the Data Protection Policy
This Data Protection Policy has been drafted in view of the current data processing on our web site. In the event of changes in data processing, this data protection information will be updated accordingly. On our website, we always provide you with the latest version of this data protection information so that you can find out about the scope of data processing on our website.
Additional information in accordance with REGULATION (EU) 2016/679 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL of 27 April 2016 concerning the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, the free movement of such data and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Registry - GDPR)
Below, there is a description of your rights:
To unsubscribe from receiving promotional communications: If you wish to revoke your consent to receive commercial communications by electronic means, you can use the unsubscribe link at the end of the corresponding email. Or, you can send an email to Data-Protection-EN@BOJg.com with the subject line: "Unsubscribe from receiving commercial communications by electronic means", in the body of which you indicate your name, surname and email address.
Exercising your data protection rights: Please use the following channels: firstname.lastname@example.org
Right of access to information on your data: Upon your request, we will provide you with information about the data we have about you.
Right of rectification of your data: when you notify us, we will correct any inaccurate personal data concerning you. If you request it, we will fill in the personal data that is incomplete, if it is necessary for the intended purpose for the processing of your data.
Right of deletion of your data: upon your request, we will delete the data we have on you. However, some data will only be deleted after a certain period of conservation, for example, when it must be kept for the fulfilment of a legal obligation, or because we need the data in order to comply with contractual obligations before you.
Right to block your data: In those cases where legislation allows the limitation in the processing of your data, it will be blocked.
Right to withdraw your consent: At any time, you can withdraw the consent given for the processing of your data, with such withdrawal taking effect from that moment. This will not affect the legality of the processing carried out until then.
Right of opposition to the processing of your data: You will have the right to object at any time to having your personal data subject to such processing based on the provisions of article 6, paragraph 1, letters e) and f) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679. In case you object, we will stop processing personal data, provided there are no compelling legitimate reasons to continue with such processing. For us, the processing of your data for direct marketing purposes will never constitute a compelling legitimate reason.
Right to portability: If you request it, we will provide you with the personal data that concerns you in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format.
Right to complain to a supervisory authority: You can file a data protection claim with the competent control authority. To do this, contact the authority responsible for data protection in your place of residence or the data protection authority of our jurisdiction (cited below).
Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD); www.agpd.es
Transmission to recipients outside the EEA
We also transmit personal data to recipients located outside the European Economic Area (EEA), in the so-called third countries. In this case, we make sure - before sharing any data - that the recipient maintains an adequate level of data protection (for example, on the basis of an adequacy decision taken by the EU Commission for the respective country or through the signing of an agreement with EU standard contractual clauses between the European Union and the recipient) or that you have given your consent for such disclosure.
At your request, we will provide you with a list of recipients in third countries and a copy of the specific provisions agreed upon to ensure an adequate level of data protection. To make a request, please use the contact information provided in the section entitled: "Contact information for any matter related to data protection" of this Data Protection Policy.