Some media have lately written about the current situation in Rioja, where a few wineries have proposed to separate into a new Designation of Origin.
The fact that this issue deserved the attention of professional Chinese media is a positive sign that reflects the awareness and acknowledgement of the importance of Rioja brand in the market.
However, some misunderstandings and factual errors have been detected in a few articles so it is important to provide the correct information for everyone, in order to avoid confusion.
One interesting feature of Rioja is that this D.O. has members in 3 neighbouring Autonomous Communities: La Rioja, Navarra and Basque Country. The establishment of Rioja as a protected geographical indication, in 1925, long precedes the current political division of Spain created by the 1978 constitution.
1925年，里奥哈产区可谓是先驱，它是西班牙公认的第一个地理标志保护（早于1935年法国AOC分级制度的建立），并在 1991 年，再次成为第一个D.O.Ca（优质原产地保护，即西班牙最高级别的质量保证）。
Rioja was a pioneer in 1925, when it was recognised as Spain’s first protected geographical indication (earlier than the establishment of the French AOC system in 1935), and again in 1991, when it became the first D.O.Ca. (Qualified Designation of Origin, the highest level of quality guarantee in Spain).
One of the requirements of the Qualified Designation of Origin is that all its wine must be bottled within the D.O.Ca. Thirty years later, there are still only two D.O.Ca. in Spain (Rioja and Priorat).
One of the key tasks of the Regulatory Board in any D.O. is to supervise and ensure that all its grape growers and wineries follow the quality control regulations for grape growing and wine production. These regulations are stricter in Rioja than in any other Spanish D.O. and this stronger quality contributes to Rioja’s value being much higher than that of Spanish wines as a whole.
The aforementioned proposal to break away into a new D.O. came from some wineries within the Association of Wineries of Rioja Alavesa (ABRA). This association represents just about 4% of the total Rioja turnover, and only a part of its members support the proposal. The figures are small but since Rioja is a very important brand every piece of news coming from it is relevant.
Anyway, D.O.Ca. Rioja (like any other D.O.) has voluntary membership: any winery wishing to leave any would be free to do so at any time.
2017年，里奥哈更新了分级制度，引入了基于葡萄酒具体产地的更为细分分级制度。 单一园 （英语：Single Vineyard / 西班牙语：Viñedo Singular）可谓是对于风土的最好表达，截止2021年6月，里奥哈已有121处通过批准的单一园。
In 2017, Rioja updated its classification regulation, introducing geographical indications based on the origin of the wines. The highest expression of the orientation towards the terroir was the creation of the Single (Singular) Vineyard classification (as of June 2021, Rioja already has 121 approved Single Vineyards).
Most members are happy with this, some think it went too far and some think it didn’t go far enough… anyway it is the beginning of this journey and the debate is proof of the vitality of the Designation of Origin, a diverse region with very different members who naturally have different points of view and opinions, which they express in a continuous dialogue.
与此同时，国际上对里奥哈葡萄酒高品质的认可也在逐年增长: 里奥哈葡萄酒入选《Wine Spectator 葡萄酒观察家》杂志 – 2020年全球最优秀葡萄酒100强之首，James Suckling西班牙葡萄酒100榜单中，里奥哈葡萄酒几乎占据一半，除此之外更有来自于葡萄酒大师Tim Atkin、《Wine Enthusiast 葡萄酒爱好者》、《Decanter 醇鉴》杂志世界葡萄酒大奖等的诸多盛赞。
In the meantime, the international acknowledgement of the great quality of the wines from D.O.Ca. Rioja grows every year: in 2020 Wine Spectator chose a Rioja wine as the best in the world in their Top 100 ranking, James Suckling selected Rioja wines for almost half of his list of the Best 100 wines from Spain, and more accolades came from other relevant players like Tim Atkin, Wine Enthusiast, Decanter World Wine Awards…
Let’s pour a glass of our favourite Rioja, relax and enjoy,