La Rioja is an autonomous community of Spain, located in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula. Today very famous for the production of high quality wines, until the mid-nineteenth century presented products known only locally. It is with the construction of the railway that its wines began to be appreciated in every part of the world. In particular, French entrepreneurs and oenologists allowed themselves to be conquered by the excellent quality of the Spanish grapes and introduced into the area typical processing of the French winemaking tradition, such as the famous barriques of Bordeaux.
The 3 areas that make up the Rioja, Alta, Baja and Alavesa, give rise to different wines, obtained in some cases also through exclusive mix of grapes coming from all 3 areas. While the wines of the Rioja Baja have higher alcohol levels and less particularity, those from the other 2 areas have a decidedly original character, the result of a cooler climate, influenced by precious ocean currents. The particular composition of the soil, which combines in a perfect balance clays, sand and limestone, is also influencing the quality of the wines.
Overall, the area is of primary importance for the production of wines, and is the only one in all of Spain to boast DOC production. Classified in categories ranging from Joven to Gran Reserva, the most common wines are reds, whose main grape varieties are Tempranillo and Garnacha, followed by grapes Graciano. The production of whites sees the predominance of the Garnacha Bianca, the Viura and the Malvasia.