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Bobal: The Spanish Grape of Newfound Nobility

In the Spanish autonomous province of Valencia, you can discover a remarkable variety of landscapes far from the long beaches of golden sand found in most conventional tour guides. Dry, desert-like areas, river valleys and fertile foothills give rise to great diversity in the wines made here. The region encompasses three DOs: D.O. Valencia, D.O. Alicante and D.O. Utiel-Requena. Among them, the wines from Utiel-Requena are probably some of the most exciting. The area has developed dramatically in the past few years, planting more vineyard area and opening new wineries. Some of the more diligent producers are paying homage to their roots through wines made from their native grape: Bobal. This variety’s newfound nobility is causing a stir among the […]

Collaboration in Spain

As the international success stories of newcomers like Australia and Chile and traditional producers like France and Italy have made evident, a country’s image makes a big difference to wine sales. The truth is, few products flaunt their origin so openly in their struggle to differentiate themselves from their competitors. As Spain’s economy deteriorates and domestic consumption decreases, Spanish wine producers are compelled to look to export markets to survive. In spite of its status as the world’s leading country in vineyard area and the third largest producer in volume worldwide, Spain has been unable to take its rightful place of leadership in international markets. Among the reasons for this are the small size of Spanish wineries, a distorted country […]

The Najerilla River Valley: a special corner of Rioja with a unique style of wine

Modern holidays are something more than just a chance for relaxation and leisure; they are an opportunity for personal enrichment. Holidays give us a chance to experience a different way of life and to create a special relationship with the place visited. Only a short 30 km drive from Logroño, the Najerilla Valley is one of my “special places”. It has a number of alluring qualities: amazing landscapes, towns with a long history and great cuisine. More importantly, through blending in with the locals, I’ve learned many things about the region and its traditions, to the point that it has changed my perception of Rioja and its wines. Among these traditions, one of the most interesting is the production of “Clarete” and “Ojo de Gallo”; two local wine […]

Rioja Terroir: Approaching the concept of terruño in wine

Editor’s Note:  With a view to the EWBC: Digital Wine Communications Conference launching in just a few weeks, John Perry has taken a very complicated concept – Terroir – and broken it down in a fascinating and approachable way to help us understand how it significantly affects Riojan wine.  Wine has a complicated vocabulary. For the beginner, learning some of this jargon is often the first step to increasing knowledge. Sometimes, even professionals come across an intimidating term and are reminded that things are not as tightly defined as they seem. One such concept is terroir; probably one of the most controversial in the industry. We all have a general idea of what it means, yet it means different things to different people. […]

Rioja’s Controversial Bid to Enlarge Unesco’s World Heritage List

This cold and rainy spring of 2013 has brought about a rare strain of fever to the D.O.Ca. Rioja. Instead of the usual buzz about how the uncommon weather will affect this year’s crop, today, swords are drawn between the three subzones (the Baja, the Alta and the Alavesa) because of the region’s exclusive bid to enlarge Unesco’s World Heritage list. Despite it being just a first step for the site to be nominated, the inclusion of the “Rioja and Rioja Alavesa Vine and Wine Cultural Landscape” in UNESCO’S  World Heritage Center Tentative list has gotten peoples blood boiling in this normally calm and amicable region. The origin of the debate is the geographical area proposed for protection in the […]

Who is the 007 of the Wine Industry?

Editor’s Note: Over the years, we’ve always wondered what the real skinny is behind the title “Wine Export Manager”? Though the title doesn’t sound especially glamorous, to see their status updates from fabulous locations around the world makes you raise an eyebrow and consider a quick revamp of your resume. But before you jump to quickly spruce up your LinkedIn profile, we’d like to invite John Perry to Catavino, an Export Manager out of Rioja who has kindly offered his expertise in sorting through the glam to the real nugget of truth behind his job.  “Wow… You’re so lucky! You get to travel around the world and drink wine for a living!” This is what I usually hear when I […]