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La Rioja (Spain)

One of the 17 Spanish regions; see below Rioja,

Geographically, this probably best known wine growing area Spain The majority of the vineyards with 62,000 hectares is located in the north-eastern province of La Rioja, but part of it is also in the provinces Basque country (Subzone Alavesa) and Navarra (Parts of subzone Rioja Baja). The area has a very old wine history. There are numerous stone carved fermentation tanks, which already have a winemaking in the antiquity testify. The most typical of these are the Guardaviñas in Rioja Alta in Ábalos, Briones and San Asensio. These domed stone structures were used as a refuge for winegrowers and their livestock in bad weather and used for monitoring crops.

Rioja (Rioja Alta) - Guardaviña (refuge) and vineyard

The area of origin

Efforts to origin Designation and choice quality have a long tradition. Already around the year 1560 the winemakers decided on a uniform brand for their barrels in order to guarantee the identity of the wines from this area. In 1635, the mayor of Logroño even forbid the traffic of wagons through streets lined with wine cellars. This was due to the concern that caused by vehicles vibrations the grape spoil and affect the maturity of the wines. The first written reference to one quality control dates back to 1650. In 1787, the "Real Sociedad Económica de Cosecheros de Rioja" (royal trade association of Rioja winegrowers) was founded to cultivate wine, winemaking and wine trade to promote. At the beginning of the 19th century, the custom of Batalla del Vino (Battle of the Wine), this great city festival is still celebrated annually.

One of the Rioja pioneers was Marqués Camilo Hurtado de Amézaga (1827-1888), who built in 1860 on his winery a Bodega after Bordeaux model and vines from the Bordeaux planted. After phylloxera invasion In the middle of the 19th century, many French winegrowers emigrated to this area and gave French viticulture a boost. In 1902, a royal decree was made with the definition of origin for the Rioja wines and a labeling rule. A Control Council founded in 1926 was given the task of limiting the Rioja area, supervising the issue of a "guarantee seal" and protecting the name of Rioja.

In 1953, the Control Council of the Denomination of Origin Rioja was founded, based on organoleptic samples and analytical Investigations check whether the wine meets the strict regulations. In 1991, a ministerial decree gave the region of origin Rioja the attribute "calificada" (qualified) and thus made it the first highest Spanish quality level DOCa,

The name derives from the river Oja (Rio Oja). The over 100-kilometer long area lies on both banks of the Ebro and on the slopes of the adjacent hills. There is a mild climate with short summer and beautiful autumn. The traditional form of education is the bush-shaped En Vaso ( gobelet ), but is getting more and more the wire frame education. The huge area of Rioja is subdivided into three sub-zones, which also differ in soil conditions and wine quality; the best is Rioja Alta:

Rioja Alta
The 24,000 hectares of vineyards with the city of Haro as a wine center located south of the Ebro River and west of the provincial capital Logroño entirely in the province of La Rioja. The climate Under the influence of the Atlantic Ocean, it is characterized by hot summers, mild autumns and cool winters. The vineyards lie on deposit floors, mixed with lime and iron-containing clay. The dominant variety is Tempranillo, followed by Mazuelo and...

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