The oldest

designation of origin in Spain

Rioja wines are covered by the oldest Designation of Origin of Spain. When the modern Rioja was born, at the end of the 19th century, and wine was given its own identity, linked to its geographical origin, Rioja winegrowers and producers were concerned with offering the highest guarantees of quality and genuinity for the wines produced in the region and to protect their identity against “usurpers and counterfeiters”.

This concern culminated with the official recognition of the Rioja Designation of Origin on June 6, 1925, authorizing the introduction of the word ‘RIOJA’ onto wine labels, which was a collective brand by nature, creating a special seal that guaranteed its origin.

In December 1944, representatives of harvesters and exporters met at an assembly promoted by the Trade Union Association and requested the constitution of the third Regulatory Council, which came into force following a Ministerial Order on January 24, 1945.

The renewal of the Regulatory Council in May 1982, in accordance with the rules of Decree 2004/79, adjusted to the new democratic principles proclaimed by the Constitution, opened up a new era, characterized by the progressive implementation of a perfectly articulated plan for qualitative and quantitative controls, that were to apply to both production and commercialization: vineyard and winery records, controls for cultivation practices and maximum production yields, qualification of new wines, follow-up of the ageing process and vintages, etc.

In April 1991, it was granted the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (DOC). DO status for the ten previous years at least was granted and a new Regulation was approved. This was the deserved recognition of the serious and continuous efforts made by the Rioja wine sector to reach the most ambitious goals for quality and prestige.

In 2004, a new stage began, with the amendment of Articles 39, 40, 41 and 42 of the Regulation, in order to make possible the “creation of the Regulatory Council with the same representativeness and consequences of the Inter-professional Association of Rioja Wine, in accordance with the 8th additional provision of the Vine and Wine Act of 2003, as well as to introduce the precise changes in its functions and  operating modes”.

More information about the Rioja Alavesa Designation of Origin

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Camino de la Hoya, 01300, Laguardia, Álava (Spain)