Rioja is considered one of the best known Spanish wines in the world and it is named after the river Rio Oja which runs through the Oja Valley in the province of La Rioja in northern Spain. The wine is the product of a long and varied tradition of winemaking in this area which began in 11th century BC.
Protected by the Cantabrian Mountain range from severe cold the micro-climate that the Rioja wine region enjoys makes it an excellent area for producing wine that has earned its well-deserved fame.
Rioja is made from grapes grown not only in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja, but also in parts of Navarre and the Basque province of Álava. Rioja is further subdivided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa and each of these areas produces its own unique expression of Rioja wine.
Among the Tintos, the best-known and most widely-used variety is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. With Rioja Blanco, Viura or Macebo as it is sometimes called is the prominent grape and is normally blended with some Malvasía and Garnacha Blanca