Circular 5/1999. Action standards
regarding viticultural experimentation
in the DOCa Rioja
The Control Board views positively the experimentation with cultural practices that represent an innovation in the cultivation of vines and can contribute a qualitative improvements to the grapes that entail producing wines of better quality in the Wine Region. So requests in this respect do not deviate from this objective, it considers necessary to set action standards that allow, on the one hand, to report favourably on plantation requests and, on the other, to guarantee the follow-up of the trial in its different phases (cultivation, ripening, production and vinification).
Consequently, the Control Board Plenary of the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja, at a session held on 10 May 1999, agreed to set the following procedure of action for requests for experimental vineyards:
- Authorisation of the trial by the Control Board upon request which, endorsed by a competent technician, provides a memorandum of the project and the characteristics that determine that it is an innovation in grape growing that aims at a qualitative improvement of the grapes and wine, in comparison with traditional cultivation.
- Authorisation of plantation from the relevant Autonomous Community, with the favourable report from the Control Board for carrying out the trial.
- Establishment of an action protocol between the interested party and the Autonomous Administration that can guarantee the follow-up of the trial by the technicians of its experimentation centres.
- The plots will be provisionally recorded in the Register of Vineyards of the Control Board, with an indication of their experimental nature, until the trial ends.
- The plot must have a surface in accordance with the aims of the trial and, in any case, it should not be larger than 2.5000 hectares.
- In a part of the trial plot or plots or nearby plots, with similar conditions, reference plantations will be maintained with the same monitoring and grown according to Regulations, in order to contrast the results.
- The test vineyard, the grapes picked and the wines made and an annual report on the monitoring of the results must be available to the Control Board Technical Service for as many checks as are considered necessary.
- Production will not be protected beyond regulations.
- The Control Board may disclose the results of the experimentation, making reference to the promoter and its winemakers.
- If the trials refer to traditional minority varieties, as determined by the Regulatory Council, reference may be made to them in the wines made, indicating on the back label their nature of trial or experimentation as complementary varieties.
- Failure to comply with these rules may lead to denial or withdrawal of the authorisation for the trial, and the non-registration or removal of the plot, and non protection of its production.
- If the result of the experimentation was not satisfactory, the trial should be abandoned and, as far as possible, the vineyard will be reconverted to what is set out in the Regulations.
- In any case, it must comply with the provisions of current law in regard to this type of tests.
You are hereby notified for such effects as may obtain.
Logroño, 12 May 1999.
THE GENERAL SECRETARY,
José Luis Lapuente Sánchez