Classification of young wine vintages

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See detail of Rioja D.O. Ca. / D.O.P.


Nº of hectares under vine: 66.217 - Nº of vine growers: 14.300 - Nº of wineries: 571 - Harvest 21: Very Good - Production 21: 281.640.000 liters - Marketing: 56% Domestic - 44% International.


It occupies the Ebro Valley. It is bordered to the north by the Sierra de Cantabria and to the south by the Sierra de la Demanda, occupying different municipalities of La Rioja, the Basque Country and Navarre. The westernmost town is Haro; and the easternmost, Alfaro; between them there is a distance of 100 kilometers. The width of the zone is 40 kilometers.


Rioja Alta. It receives Atlantic influences; it is the most extensive with some 20,500 hectares and produces wines very suitable for ageing.

Rioja Alavesa. A cross between Atlantic and Mediterranean influences, with an extension of vineyards of some 11,500 hectares; both young wines and suitable for ageing are produced.

Eastern Rioja. With approximately 18,000 hectares. The influence is clearly Mediterranean; red and rosé wines of higher alcohol content and extract are produced. 


It varies according to the different sub-zones. In general, there is a combination of Atlantic and Mediterranean influences, the latter becoming more pronounced as the terrain descends from west to east, evolving towards a drier and warmer climate. The average annual rainfall is just over 400 mm.


A distinction can be made between clay-limestone soils, arranged in terraces and small plots, which are found mainly in Rioja Alavesa, the Sonsierra and some areas of Rioja Alta; clay-ferrous soils, spread throughout the territory and with vineyards located on reddish and strong soils with hard and deep rock; and alluvial soils in the areas near the rivers; this is the flattest vineyard with the largest plots; here the soils are deep and with boulders.


White: viura, malvasía, garnacha blanca, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, verdejo, maturana blanca, tempranillo blanco and torrontés.

Reds: tempranillo, garnacha, graciano, mazuelo and maturana tinta.


They are made mainly from Viura grapes. The young wines are straw yellow in color, fruity and with herbaceous notes. The barrel-fermented whites tend to be more golden in color and their scents combine fruit with the creamy notes of the wood. The aged whites are more golden and the most characteristic are their oak notes in the mouth and nose.
They are basically made from Garnacha, almost always grown in the Eastern Rioja. They have a pinkish-raspberry color and reflect the character of the variety from which they come: they are fruity, fresh and pleasant on the mouth.
The young vintage wine of Rioja Alavesa is made by carbonic maceration, so they will be intense in color and with a lot of fruit. The rest of the young wines will not have such intensity, they are light, fresh and easy to drink. In crianza wines, their characteristics will be determined by the time spent in barrels. Generally speaking, crianzas alternate fruity notes softened by the action of the wood. In the case of reserves and grand reserves, the roundness and harmony of the wine will increase and its color will tend towards orangey notes. In the older wines we will find notes reminiscent of leather and animal aromas.
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