Rioja
: Organization of trade

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Rioja’s vineyards are split among nearly 20,000 growers, most of whom tend their plots as a sideline and have no winemaking facilities of their own, although in Rioja Alavesa they have been financially encouraged by the Basque regional government to acquire them. Many growers have an established contract with one of the merchant bodegas, whose numbers rocketed from about 100 in the mid 1990s to more than 500 a decade later. Others belong to one of the 30 co-operatives that serve the region and receive around 45% of the grapes. Most co-operatives sell their produce, either as must or as newly made wine, to the merchant bodegas, who blend, bottle, and market the wine under their own labels.