The civilisation of the vine and wine was already a reality in Riojan lands two thousand years ago, as evidenced by numerous archaeological remains of wine presses and wineries dating to Roman times.
This winemaking culture was maintained in the Middle Ages under the protection of the monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla, where Gonzalo de Berceo, the first poet in the Spanish language, praised the virtues of wine in his verses: “Ca non so tan letrado por fer otro latino: Bien valdrá, como creo, un vaso de bon vino.” (“For I am not learned enough to write one in Latin: It would indeed be worth, as I believe, a glass of good wine.”)
DENOMINACIÓN DE ORIGEN CALIFICADA
The adventure of
being a pioneer
The modern Rioja was born in the late 19th century, establishing a clear link between the identity of Riojan wine and the place where it was made. Then came the concern of Rioja grape growers and winemakers to protect the identity from “usurpers and counterfeiters.” These concerns where finally addressed with the official recognition of the Rioja Designation of Origin.
In 1991, it became a Denominación de Origen Calificada. It was the first to achieve this. Today, among the 70 Spanish designations of origin, only Rioja and Priorat have the higher Calificada status.