Everything you need to know about Rioja’s new rules

Rioja has launched a new global marketing campaign to highlight a series of changes to the region’s quality tiers and regulations – but what’s different, and why?

The Rioja regulatory board has created a three-word Spanish strapline meaning ‘knowing who you are’

As the drinks business reported earlier this week, the Rioja regulatory board has created a three-word Spanish strapline – Saber Quién Eres (meaning ‘knowing who you are’) – as part of a rebrand for the region, which follows a range of regulatory developments designed to extend the offer from Rioja.

Among these are a series of new indications including Vinos de Zona, Vinos de MunicipioViñedos SingularesEspumosos de Calidad de Rioja, as well as new ageing requirements for Reserva and Gran Reserva wines, and the permitted production of single varietal white wines.

Over the following pages we look at these changes in detail, and why they have been put in place, while the graphics below show the new structure for the region, with the concentric rings highlighting the different breadths of the terroir-related classifications, and the second image showing how these new indications are used in conjunction with the existing rules, which relate to the time a wine has spent ageing, either in bottle or barrel, or both.

It is important to note, as the second graphic shows, that the previous entry-level classification for Rioja, which was called ‘joven’, has now been replaced by the term ‘generico’.

The new zones: Rioja ‘generico’; Vinos de Zona; Vinos de Municipio, and, at the centre, Viñedos Singulares

The site-related classifications can be used in conjunction with the existing rules regarding ageing

Meanwhile, the addition of a new category for sparkling wines from the region is also noteworthy, as those producers that currently make traditional method fizz can label it as DO Cava. Will they want to take on the name Rioja for such wines in place of Cava?

Head of the Consejo Regulador, José Luis Lapuente, told db that they won’t be able to use both. He also said that although sparkling Rioja would be “a niche product”, it has been approved to augment the region’s offer and tap into the growing demand for sparkling wines in markets such as the UK. The move predates the decision by Catalonia’s parliament to declare independence from Spain, so it is not a reaction to this political development by a region that accounts for more than 90% of all Cava production.

Presently, Lapuente said that eight producers in Rioja had harvested grapes from the 2017 vintage in order to make a sparkling wine under the new classification, and that such products would not reach the market until next year at the earliest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Marketing Manager

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Partner Manager - Manged On-Trade

Maverick Drinks
London, UK

Brand Manager

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, Berkshire

Head of Sales

IWSC
London, UK

Logistic and Fullfilment - Whisky (and wine) administrator

Stilnovisti Ltd
London, United Kingdom // Dufftown, Keith, United Kingdom

Account Manager

Harviestoun Brewery
Field Based, UK

Buyer - Spain & South America

Enotria&Coe
London, UK

Events Sales Manager

Enotria&Coe
Field based - London or surrounding area

Sales Director Europe

Mirabeau Wine
Europe

Argentina Breaking New Ground Masterclass Series

Leeds,United Kingdom
17th Oct 2018

Argentina Breaking New Ground Masterclass Series

Edinburgh,United Kingdom
18th Oct 2018

IBWSS China

Shanghai,China
5th Nov 2018
Click to view more

Global Chardonnay Masters 2018

Deadline : 17th October 2018

Green Awards 2018

Deadline : 19th October 2018

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters 2018

As with all of the drinks business awards, our judging panel is comprised of Masters of Wine, Master Sommeliers and senior buyers making the competition globally renowned.

Champagne Masters 2018

Enter your wines into the Champagne Masters 2018, the only blind competition dedicated to Champagne in the UK.

Click to view more