Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero make new grounds with new wines
Rioja is often a blend of multiple sub regions with Grenache and the quality Graciano grown in Rioja Baja, while Tempranillo is grown in Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. There are producers making a single vineyard wine, but this was not identifiable on the label. In 2017 Rioja changed its rules to allow the creation of a Viñedo Singular certification. These are wines that come from a single vineyard with differentiating characteristics versus other vineyards in the neighbourhood. The vines must also be 35 years old, and “treated with care following sustainable policies”, while the grapes must be hand-harvested. The first Rioja wine to gain a Viñedo Singular certification is Viñedos de Alfro’s Canterabuey, made from 100% Garnacha.
Meanwhile in one of Spain’s other great wine regions, Ribera, home to Ribera del Duero DO, has announced it will allow white wines under its DO. Up until now only red and rosé wines were allowed. The new white wines must contain 75% of the region’s main white grape Albillo Mayor with a large host of other white varieties allowed to be blended including Pirules, Malvaisa, Viura, Verdejo, Albariño, Hondarrabi Zuri, Palomino, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Treixadura and Viognier.