…a very responsible blog…catavino.net…[it's] refreshing to see such professionalism.
Robert M. Parker Jr.

Tag Archives: Rioja

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 […]

The Grapes of Rioja: Unveiling the berries behind the iconic wine

Editor’s Note: In the run up to the 2013 #Digital Wine Communication Conference happening in 2 weeks, Tara O’Leary, has unveiled the essential berries that has made Rioja so famous.  Do you remember your first Spanish red wine? No? Me neither, but chances are it was a Rioja. Rioja has been the standard bearer of the country’s wines for much longer than my wine drinking career, and still takes top billing amongst consumers in the trusted, familiar and dependable category for Spanish reds. But Rioja could never have won the hearts of so many without those all important grapes that make it famous. Let’s propel these little berries, both familiar and anomalous, into the spotlight and give them their rightful 15 minutes […]

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. […]

Oak in Riojan Wine: Fundamental or a style choice

Editor’s Note: In exciting anticipation of the #EWBC (#DWCC), which will be held in Rioja in just 3 weeks, Quentin Sadler explains how the success, the aromas and flavours of Rioja wine all revolve around oak. The red wines of Rioja are the first love of many wine drinkers. I think that is because they have a very clear identity which makes the flavors accessible. That identity quite clearly comes from oak aging, long aging in oak barrels, more specifically aging in American oak barrels. Modern Rioja is better made, riper, fuller and fruitier than Rioja of the past, but those vanilla aromas and flavors from aging in oak barrels is still the defining characteristic of the region’s fine red wines. Rioja does […]

Catavino hosts the Digital Wine Communications Conference 2013

On a late Friday afternoon, I find myself staring out my living room window wondering how eight years has passed since the creation of Catavino. While the late afternoon autumn rays stretch across the wood floor, seagulls scream in the distance, and I smile. I reminisce back to our tiny bedroom in Madrid that we shared with 2 other couples. Ryan sat typing at the dining room table behind a waterfall of guitar and bass parts left by our musically obsessed roommate. Unclear exactly how to create a blog, Ryan scavenged the internet for information, gleaning small bits of advice here and there to fashion a new design. “Gabriella, we need to write down more of our experiences. People are […]

Wine Hotels in Spain: Charm and Luxury Along the Rutas de Vino

Finding the perfect hotel in the right location never ceases to be a challenge. Many of the villages along the Rutas de Vino in Spain have become home to some of the country’s (and world’s) most unique hotels. And what is the best thing about these hotels? They are part of a growing trend of wineries with hotels on site (many locally owned and operated by the winery itself). It is the perfect marriage for traveling wine lovers. However, to ensure the best experience one must consider a number of things. Wine country in Spain is vast and diverse. The scenery along the Rutas de Vino, especially during summer and fall, can be absolutely breathtaking and makes an incredible backdrop […]

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 […]

The Best Tapas and Wine Bars in Madrid

If you’re eager to taste a wide variety of tapas in Madrid, the one main issue you will have is choosing where to go. Navigating the labyrinthine streets with bars that are absolutely packed with people on both sides of the streets, makes you pause in hesitation wondering which one is best? Well, here is a list of my personal favorites. Some have your traditional fare, while others are more dedicated to certain specialties, such as anchovies or croquetas. Either way, you can’t go wrong, and with tapas, the rule is to have one tapa here, and then mosey on to the next. MADRID CITY CENTER La Anchoíta – Jesús, 4 (Metro: Anton Martin) If you love anchovies, this is the […]

Spanish Wine gets Real in London

“In the end we will conserve only what we love. Love only what we understand. Understand only what we are taught.” – Baba Dioum The line of Spanish wine tables stood proudly in the centre of the room. The combined annual production of these 15 wineries wouldn’t keep the smallest Madrid tapas bar in wine for a month, yet here they were representing their country at The Real Wine Fair in faraway London. Why? Because it seems that despite the British obsession with discounts, despite our cynicism for the term ‘Natural Wines‘, and despite the competition from all over the world, Britain is still a haven for wine mavericks. These wineries are here fighting for their survival in large part […]

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 […]