Circular 23/1997. Planting layout and density of vines per hectare - Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja - Riojawine

Circular 23/1997. Planting layout
and density of vines per hectare

In the inspection carried out by the Control Board plot by plot of vineyard plantations in their second year, prior to their ultimate inclusion in the Register of Vineyards, it has been found that a high percentage are being planted using layouts that violate the minimum plantation density required by DOCa Rioja Regulations, which is 2,850 vines per hectare.

Failure to comply with this requirement must determine the rejection of applications for registration of the vineyards in the DOCa Rioja Register, in application of arts. 6.2, 18, 19 and 25 of DOCa Rioja Regulations.

The Control Board Plenary, in its session of 12 December 1997, studied this issue and made an assessment of the situation, understanding that there may have been poor information so far, and therefore agreed to establish a “zero” point for the vineyards that are in such situation, on this date of 12 December 1997, exceptionally accepting their registration, except for deviations of 25% on minimum density.

Therefore, all registered participants are reminded of current regulations in this respect:

Minimum planting density DOCa Rioja  vineyards is compulsorily 2850 vines per hectare.

The way to calculate if the chosen layout is the one that suits the requirements of the Designation is as follows:

No. vines = 10.000

L x A where “L” is the distance between vines expressed in metres and “A” the distance between rows or lines in metres


  1. a) 10,000 = 2,976 vines/ha

2.8 x 1.2 so the layout is correct.

  1. a) 10,000 = 2,777 vines/ha

3.0 x 1.2 so the layout is incorrect.

In example a) there are 2,976 vines/ha, so the 2.80 x 1.20 layout complies with Regulations.

In example b) there are 2,777 vines/ha, so the 3.00 x 1.20 layout does not comply with Regulations.

Attached to this circular is a table with the most common layouts.


Logroño, 19 December 1997.




Ángel de Jaime Baró