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About Rioja Edit
Wikipedia Article About Rioja on Wikipedia
Rioja is a wine from a region named after the Rio Oja in Spain, a tributary of the Ebro. It is made from grapes grown in the provinces of La Rioja, Southern Álava or Navarre. La Rioja is further subdivided into three zones (in rising order of warmth) Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Rioja Alta is the highest of these zones and is said to produce the best wine. Many wines have traditionally blended fruit from all 3 regions though there is a slow growth in single zone wines.
The wine is a blend of various grape varieties, and can be either red, white or rosada (rosé). In red wines, the best-known variety used is Tempranillo. Other grapes used include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano, and Mazuelo. One wine maker, Marques de Riscal is permitted to grow and use Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot by special dispensation. Other wineries also have experimental plantings of these varietals.