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Rioja is Spain's most famous wine region, offering a range of delicious wines from refreshing, crisp white and rosé wine to rich, smooth reds. The Rioja seal is your guarantee of quality and the ageing classification gives you an idea of style, so whether you choose classic, oak aged Reserva or Gran Reserva wines, or modern fruity, full bodied styles, you can always be sure of a great value wine that is aged to perfection.Click here for a welcome letter from Rioja >
* "The Spanish Ministry of the Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) has financed this activity within the framework of subsidies to the food and farming sector. Any opinion expressed in this document is the exclusive responsibility of the interprofessional organisation for Rioja wine, and does not represent the opinion of MARM."
Buy two or more cases of Rioja wines on this page and you will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a cellar of Rioja wine worth over £1000. Two runners-up will each win a case of Rioja wines.See Terms and Conditions >
Rioja produces a wide range of whites and rosados (Spanish for rosé). White wines are typically a blend of the Viura and Malvasia grape varieties and range from modern, crisp and refreshing wines that work with Asian-inspired dishes to the more traditional rich and creamy wines that go perfectly with paella, risotto and other fish or chicken dishes.
Rioja rosé is made from native Tempranillo and Garnacha grapes to create aromatic dry wines with intense fresh fruit flavours and colours ranging from salmon to raspberry. A great tapas wine, Rosé pairs well with many dishes from prawns and tortilla de patata through to chorizo.See All Wines >
These wines (formerly known as Joven) are identified by a green back label which guarantees the DOCa Rioja origin and vintage of the wine. These can be white, red or rosé wines and are, generally speaking, young, fruity wines with less than six months ageing.
Guarantee of Origin wines are usually light and refreshing which means they are great to drink on their own but also go well with a wide range of dishes and are ideal for serving at barbecues, picnics or other informal meals. For a top barbeque tip, why not do as the Spanish do on a warm evening and lightly chill the reds?See All Wines >
Rioja wines are classified according to the amount of time they have spent ageing in the winery, meaning that they are not sold until they are ready to drink. Any bottle with the word "Crianza" on the label, the Spanish word for 'ageing', means that the wines have spent at least two years at the winery before being sold, with at least one of those years spent in oak barrels. Crianza wines can be identified by their cherry red back label.
The wines are still young, fresh and juicy with cherry and strawberry fruit flavours typically found in wines made using Tempranillo grapes, along with hints of vanilla and spice from the oak barrels. Crianza wines are usually the "wine of choice" for most Riojans on a daily basis, and are easy-drinking soft wines. They are great with char-grilled meat and roast vegetables, and also roast poultry, particularly duck or goose dishes.See All Wines >
These wines are made from select grapes and have spent longer ageing at the winery than Crianza wines. They spend at least one year in oak barrels, a further two years at the winery and are only released for sale when they have reached optimum maturity. Reserva wines have a deep red back label.
The flavours in these wines are more complex, with lots of layers and more depth. They often have an explosion of aroma and taste sensations that continue to evolve in the mouth and tend to be deeper in colour than Gran Reserva wines, with a richer concentration of ripe berry flavours which evolve gracefully over time.
With their rich fruit flavours, Reserva wines are delicious with food and are the perfect choice for any lamb dish. Exceptional with a good steak and hard cheeses such as Manchego or mature English cheddar, these wines are made for the dinner table.See All Wines >
Gran Reserva wines are only made in the best vintages using the finest grapes. They must spend at least five years in the winery, including two years in oak barrels and three years' maturation in the bottle. Gran Reserva wines are identified by a teal blue back label (previously brown red).
Known for their intense depth, these wines offer savoury flavours and aromas including cedarwood, leather and spice, and the long ageing brings an exceptionally smooth, silky texture. They are the classic and often the most traditional Rioja wines, ranking amongst the finest wines in the world.
These wines are ideal for bringing out on a special occasion as their rich flavours pair beautifully with beef steaks, game, mushroom or truffle-based dishes.See All Wines >
Rioja has a long tradition of using indigenous grape varieties to produce its wines, although the majority of wines are blends, produced from a combination of these grapes.
Tempranillo is the dominant grape in the Rioja region producing soft supple wines, with aromas of summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. Garnacha adds warmth and spice to blended Rioja wines and is increasingly found as a single varietal wine. Graciano adds structure, elegance and acidity to a blend making wines ideal for ageing. Mazuelo is a deep, dark grape that is normally blended with Tempranillo to add colour, weight and tannins which help the wine to age gracefully.
Viura is the dominant variety in white Rioja producing clean, fresh, zesty and lightly herby young white wines. Garnacha Blanca is normally used to add weight and body to Viura wines which are aged for six months or more. Malvasia is most often used in small quantities alongside Viura to make classic oak-aged white wines. Its musky, savoury character, added to the crispness of the Viura, produces wines of great individuality and style.
In 2007 the Rioja Regulatory Council approved plantings of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. They can never be used alone, but can be included as up to 49% of a blend to add freshness to native varietals.
Festival season has arrived and we've been celebrating with good food and great wine both here in Rioja as well as in London.
We always enjoy the chance to get friends and family together and festivals or "fiestas" as they are known in Spain, are regularly held all over the country. June saw us lining the streets of the main town of the Rioja wine producing region, Logroño, for the San Bernabé festival which preserves one of the region's most unusual gastronomic traditions. The festival commemorates the victory of Castilian troops on 11 June (day of San Bernabé) 1521 against the French army, which planned to attack Castile after laying siege to the city of Logroño. The city's inhabitants survived the siege by fishing in the river Ebro and this is remembered with free servings of grilled fish, bread and Rioja wine handed out to visitors at the fiesta.
Not to be outdone, London recently held its own "fiesta", the award winning Rioja Tapas Fantasticas Festival. Held at Potters Field Park under the majestic shadow of Tower Bridge, this fabulous festival celebrated Rioja wines, Spanish food and lifestyle. In true Spanish style, visitors to the Festival grazed their way through a stunning variety of traditional tapas dishes sampling and matching red, white and rosé wines from Rioja. TV personalities Wine experts hosted wine workshops explaining Rioja's unique wine ageing process whereby the best grapes from each harvest are selected then slowly matured in oak barrels to become the famous Crianzas, Reservas and Gran Reservas.
If you fancy coming over to Rioja and joining in the fun, we would love to see you! Many of our wineries have tourist facilities and are open all year round - tantalise your tastebuds with tapas accompanied with some of our famous Rioja wines, a match made in heaven! Visit www.riojawine.com for travel information.
We're glad you enjoy Rioja wines and hope that this promotion will help you to discover even more of our varied styles. Good luck with the competition!
All the best,