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La Rioja - the main artery of the wine of Spain


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La Rioja - the main artery of the wine of Spain


What is Spain associated with? Bullfighting, monarchy, sea, sun and wine! The latter has become not just an association, but a full-fledged symbol of the country. La Rioja is the most fertile vineyards in the country, where thousands of good wine lovers come every year. Here you can get acquainted with the history of the drink, trace the entire path of its production, learn to distinguish varieties and learn the rules of tasting. A favorite pastime of visitors to the vineyards is to stop a local winemaker or worker on the run and ask him about the tricks and secrets. And rightly so: where, if not in the famous grape region of La Rioja, to plunge into the atmosphere of winemaking?

Everything you need to know about vineyards

La Rioja is the kingdom's most fertile wine province. Thanks to the mountains, a microclimate reigns here, ideal for the ripening of wine berries. Archaeological work was carried out in the province, which proved that winemaking flourished here even during the Roman Empire and the era of Moorish rule. The turning point in the life of the region was the late Middle Ages, when in 1650 a document was issued regulating the production of wine and the operation of vineyards.

At the end of the 19th century, European vineyards were seized by the phylloxera epidemic, which began in France and miraculously passed Spain. This was a key step in the popularization of wine made in La Rioja: the region produced wine without interruption. By the middle of the 20th century, the province had become the only recognized wine producer in Spain.

A must for tasting

All wines produced in La Rioja deserve attention, but most of all sommeliers note:

  • Red and rosé wines, the blend of which is dominated by the tart Tempranillo variety
  • White based on Viura grape variety
  • Crianza, which is aged in oak barrels for at least 12 months and goes on sale 3 years after harvest
  • Gran reserve: matured for 2 years in barrels, then 3 years in bottles.

Features of Spanish wine drinking

In order to enjoy wines to the fullest, the Spaniards have established special rules:

  • Drink only dry wines, sweet and semi-sweet are prohibited
  • To name the wines not by the color “red / white / pink”, but by the grape variety: red - tinto, rose - claretto, white - bianco
  • The Spaniards believe that wine without a snack is a spoilage of the product. The most common wine treat is tapas: a plate containing finely sliced jamon, olives, chorizo (sausages), sheep cheese, anchovies, gherkins and pan (bread).

Interesting Facts

  • Local winemakers keep the quality mark: this is their life's work, the well-being of the family depends on the volume of sales. And given the fact that everyone in the region knows each other, deception and production of low-quality products is a shame
  • In a cafe on the territory of La Rioja, they do not really care about cleanliness: it is believed that the more pieces of paper and unwashed glasses on the tables, the more popular the institution
  • The minimum aging of La Rioja wines in barrels is 10 months.

The object belongs to the regions.

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