RIOJA DESIGNATION OF ORIGIN: ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS IN THE WORLD
Rioja is a Spanish Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) that marks out the quality of its wines. In today’s article, we want to talk about the designation of origin that covers our wineries. Keep reading to learn something with us and discover our products.
THE OLDEST DESIGNATION IN SPAIN
The Rioja Designation of Origin was created on the 6th of June 1925. This was thanks to the winegrowers in the Rioja region who want to ensure that their wines were top-quality and exclusive. Further down the line, in 1991, it was the first region to be made a Qualified Designation of Origin.
Having the latter designation means that we have to comply with a set of stricter requirements in quantitative, qualitative and control terms. The Regulatory Council is in charge of overseeing, auditing and monitoring the wine production process in La Rioja, from the vines to the market.
Spain is a bountiful land! Wine was already around in La Rioja over two thousand years ago, which we know from the archaeological remains of winepresses and wineries that date back to Roman times. These days, Rioja wines are on sale in 120 countries and El Coto has the leading winery in Spain.
THE THREE ZONES IT COVERS
It has three types of soil: lime-rich clay, iron-rich clay and loose clay. It runs from the north-eastern part of La Rioja up to the Iregua river. The area is made up of 76 municipalities with a primarily Atlantic climate. What’s more, it's known for the quality of its vineyards and the huge amount of options for tourism around them.
This covers 11,500 hectares in the south of the Province of Álava. Its soil is lime-rich clay, and the vineyards are grown on terraces and small plots. The cultural and architectural heritage in its mediaeval towns is surrounded by a never-ending sea of vineyards. It is made up of 18 municipalities including Laguardia, Elciego and Oyón.
RIOJA ORIENTAL OR RIOJA BAJA
Due to the influence of the Mediterranean, this region is warmer and dryer. As such, the soil is mainly loose clay and lime-rich clay. This is the eastern-most part of La Rioja and the south of Navarre. It has a surface area of 18,000 hectares. The northern winds gently rock the vines here, helping them to produce very mature grapes.
EL COTO: THE LARGEST WINE PRODUCER IN LA RIOJA
We have 820 hectares of vineyards, split across all of the sub-regions in the Rioja designation, and we now sell our wines in over 70 countries. This started over half a century ago – 1970 specifically – and since then, we’ve stayed true to our wine-making philosophy, which sees the vineyard and the main source of quality.
That’s precisely why we’ve been trying to have as many vineyards as possible from the outset, in order to ensure the quality of our wines year after year. Our wines have won a space in our customers’ hearts because they’re perfect for everyday consumption and for celebrating special moments.
Some of our main vineyards are Carbonera, the vineyard with the highest altitude in La Rioja, which makes it ideal for growing white grapes to create wines such as Coto de Imaz Reserva Blanco, a white wine that goes great with red meat, and Finca Los Almendros, thought to be the largest vineyard in the Designation, covering 450 hectares.
Our wineries have the widest range of Rioja wines. We are guided by our philosophy when it comes to red wine, meaning we respect the classic style of barrel ageing, which is what made La Rioja world famous. We know that being one of the leading wine producers in the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin involves commitment and responsibility, two values that we try to uphold every day.
OUR PRODUCTS WITH THE RIOJA STAMP
The types of wine we produce work perfectly for any occasion: they're ideal for serving at an important event or for pairing with your favourite meal. Wines such as El Coto Crianza and El Coto de Imaz Reserva go perfectly with beef and lamb.
The latter is one of our iconic wines, made exclusively with Tempranillo grapes. Before it goes on sale, we age it for 18 months in the barred and at least another 18 months in the bottle to get it just right.