Rioja red wines are characterised by their immense variety of nuances and by their internationally recognised quality.
In a land where wine is everything, 100 km of contrasts combine the best blended wines with the most avant-garde ones to offer thousands of flavours. Thanks to this, we have become the leading Designation among the national public over the years.
De-stemming. Separation of the grapes from the stem (the wooden part of the bunch).
There are several types of wines with different elaborations. Red wines with more body, complexity and ageing potential are generally made by destemming the stems before fermentation.
Lighter, younger and fruitier red wines are fermented with the whole grapes (carbonic maceration with the stems) or destemmed or a combination of both.
Maceration and fermentation. Resting of the grapes and the process of transforming the sugar into ethyl alcohol.
During fermentation, the must is pumped over from the bottom to the top, while the temperature remains constant. The aim is to ensure that the process is carried out homogeneously and that none of the aromas contained in the must are lost.
Devatting and pressing. Extraction of the wine from the tank and pressing of the skins.
The wine is extracted from the tanks and the solid part (skins) is introduced into the press to acquire more wine.
Malolactic fermentation. Reduction of astringent acidity.
It is also known as secondary fermentation in which the malic and astringent acid from the grapes is transformed into lactic acid; a mild and pleasant acid found in milk.
Ageing. Conservation to achieve the desired wine
Red wines with more body and ageing potential are kept in barrels so that they acquire more aromas than those of the fruit itself, the tannins are softened and the flavours and nuances are integrated. Traditional ageing is carried out in oak barrels (French, American or of other origins), with periodic racking, and then complemented in the bottle. For the ageing mentions (Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva) it is compulsory to age the wines in 225-litre oak barrels for a minimum period of time.
Blending. The union of different batches
This stage of the process does not always take place as many wines come from a specific plot or are single-varietal, thus giving them a unique identity. Blending can be done by variety or by type of winemaking or parcels. The aim is to blend the different wines to obtain a more complex wine by combining the characteristics of different varieties and/or to obtain more balanced wines in terms of other aspects such as acidity, tannicity, body…
Bottling and bottle ageing
The wine is transferred to glass bottles where the components are better integrated. In Rioja we require a minimum ageing time in the bottle for certain ageing classifications.