Circular 5/2005. Decisions relating to harvest classification

At an ordinary session held on 15 July 2005, the Control Board Plenary of the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja, made the following decisions among others:

Considering that the Regulations of the DOCa RIOJA (Order APA/3465/2004, of 20 October 2004, Annex 2, section II.1.four), determine that:

“Samples will be taken during the ninety days after 30 November of the year of harvest. Sampling can be brought forwardd for those winemakers that request it, with the exclusive purpose of quickly selling young wines from that harvest. To this end, the Control Board Technical Service will draw up a schedule of visits to the different localities within the scope of the designation of origin, so that the collection of samples is carried out in an orderly manner.”

Considering that the ratification process is implemented according to the aforementioned Annex 2 of the DOCa RIOJA Regulations.

The following procedures and requirements are set for the purposes described:

Early classification:

As established in the aforementioned standard, the Control Board may bring forward the taking of samples for certain purposes, in which case it is necessary to determine the necessary conditions to guarantee that the classification is brought forward with the necessary guarantees of compliance with the regulations set by the Control Board, for which it is unavoidable to satisfy the requirements and procedures that are detailed below:

  1. Exclusive purpose of the quick bottled sales of the wines by the owner;
  2. Completion of grape harvesting and completion of the vinification of all the grapes received;
  3. Harvest and vinification affidavits.
  4. Vinification Affidavit validation. It involves the evacuation, where appropriate, of the requirements to third-party grape suppliers for the purposes of validating their harvest affidavit and the right to protect their deliveries;
  5. Transfer of the validation of the vinification affidavit for its submission to the contradiction of the interested party;
  6. Making final the volumes of wine with the right to request the protection of the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja;
  7. Physical wine stock inspections at the winery;
  8. Sampling request and sample collection;
  9. Physical-chemical analysis of the samples by the relevant Oenological Station covering the winery;
  10. Sensory analysis of the samples by the Tasting Committee;
  11. Passing the aforementioned analyses in accordance with the provisions of the DOCa Rioja Regulations;
  12. Notifying the interested party that the tests have been passed;

 

Early Classification of 10% of the harvest:

Considering that the fulfilment of these requirements can delay or make infeasible the possibility of early classification of the whole harvest, it was considered convenient by the Control Board Plenary, to enable the partial classification, which was finalised for 10% of each type of wine, prior to the presentation of the total that, in general, the regulation sets during the 90 days after 30 November of the year of harvest, always with the premise of the exclusive purpose of a rapid sale of young wines of that harvest.

The Plenary decision on the partial early classification was notified through official circular No. 22/97 of 10 November 1997.

During these years, this decision has been applied, but some interpretation issues haves arisen that makes it necessary to clarify its content.

For this purpose, the following is determined:

  1. The possibility of submitting to classification, before 1 December, an amount of wine that represents up to 10% of the whole of the winemaker’s harvest for each type of wine, with the sole purpose of rapid sales, by the winemaker, of young bottled wines of the latest harvest, prior to the presentation of the entire production.
  2. After 30 November and during the month of December, a partial early classification may also be requested for the same purpose and under the same conditions as in the previous section. After 30th November, partial classifications of up to 10% of the harvest for each type of wine will also be given, provided that the wines are going to be used for the producer’s own urgent internal needs.
  3. Under no circumstances can partial classification be accessed in order to carry out transactions between wineries.
  4. In addition to the requirements set forth for partial early harvest, it will be necessary, in general, to comply with the following:
    • Completion of grape harvest and completion of the vinification of all the grapes received;
    • Submission of Harvest and vinification affidavits.
    • Sampling request and sample collection.
    • Physical-chemical analysis of the samples by the relevant Oenological Station covering the winery. Sensory analysis of the samples;
    • Passing the aforementioned analyses in accordance with the provisions of the DOCa Rioja Regulations.
    • Notifying the interested party that the tests have been passed.
  5. The wines successfully rated shall be placed in separate containers from the wines pending classification. The Overseers Service may, at any time, verify compliance with this requirement. Mixing rated wines with unrated wines will result in both being downgraded.

 

You are hereby notified for your knowledge and such effects as may obtain.

Logroño, 24 February 2006.

THE PRESIDENT,

 

 

Víctor Pascual Artacho