Until 150 years ago, Rioja was a well-regarded country wine of no international repute. Now top vintages rank amongst the very finest wines in the world.
Rioja is divided into three sub-districts - Riojas Alta, Alavesa and Baja - and the varying conditions within each suit different grape varieties. Grapes from all three can be blended together.
A favourite summer drink of mine just has to be young, quaffable Rioja. Traditionally viewed as a little hit and miss, white Rioja can be brilliant when it’s done correctly. It has that classical taste to it and this is because it is made from the traditional grape variety of this famous wine-making region. It is also because traditional viticulture practices and wine-making techniques are adhered to and respected. Now I know I often harp on about modern techniques and vineyards and all the wonderful things that are now possible because of technology, but it does not mean there is not something to be said for tradition. As the old adage goes “if it ain’t broke... don’t Fix it”. Enjoy!