Shop Our Selection of Rioja Wines
While the best Spanish wine is subjective to ones taste, one could argue that the Rioja wine region is the most well-known and important.
In Spain wine regions have certain rules and regulations that are similar to those in France or Italy. The Rioja wine region is one of two in Spain with the highest classification of quality assurance called the Denominación de Origen Calificada (D.O.C.) or "Qualified Appellation of Origin".
Red Rioja wine is typically based on the Tempranillo grape with Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo and Graziano usually in a supporting role. White Rioja wines are typically made from the native Viura grape although Verdejo and international varieties such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are permitted. The use of oak aging in the Rioja wine region traditionally begins with the use of American oak barrels. The aging process of these wines is indicated on the bottle in several ways:
- Rioja (formerly "joven"): This is a young wine that sees very little or sometimes no oak aging.
- Crianza: One year aging in barrel, and additional months aging in bottle.
- Reserva: Wines see a minimum of one year in barrel and with bottle aging must be three years old before release.
- Grand Reserva: Wines see a minimum of two years in barrel and three years of bottle aging.