Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

La Rioja is the oldest winemaking province in argentina but Rioja is probably best known in the wine world as the leading wine region of spain, producing predominantly red wines in the north of the country. Named after the río (river) Oja, a tributary of the river Ebro, most of the Rioja wine region lies in the autonomous region of La Rioja in north east Spain, although parts of the zone extend into the neighbouring basque country to the north west and navarra to the north east. Centred on the regional capital Logroño, Rioja divides into three zones along the axis of the river Ebro. Rioja Alta occupies the part of the Ebro valley west of Logroño and includes the winemaking town of Haro. Rioja Alavesa is the name given to the section of the zone north of the river Ebro which falls in the Basque province of Alava. Rioja Baja extends from the suburbs of Logroño south and east to include the towns of Calahorra and Alfaro. In 2013, Rioja had 63,500 ha/152,400 acres of vines.