Rioja was the first Spanish wine region to obtain DO status in 1925. In 1991, it was promoted to DOCa (Qualified Designation of Origin), a higher category reserved for wines maintaining a proven consistency and quality over a long period of time.
The growing area for Rioja DOCa is located in the north of Spain, on both banks of the Ebro River. It is blessed with exceptional natural conditions for the cultivation of vineyards.
The Rioja's principal soils are ideal for quality viticulture; they are well balanced in structure (sand, limestone and clays), slightly alkaline, low in organic matter and have a moderate supply of water in the summer.
The long experience of growers and producers in the DOCa has resulted in a natural selection of the grape varieties best adapted to the area’s climate and soils, while at the same time giving the highest quality wines. The outcome of this natural selection process is the range of seven varieties now authorised by the regulations of the DOCa Rioja: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo for red wines; Viura, Malvasia and Garnacha blanca for whites.