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few decades. Our goal is to identify the factors that have contributed to the re-emergence of Rioja as one of Spain’s most exciting wine producing regions. After a brief look

at the region and its winemaking history,

we examine

the key factors contributing to the improvements in Rioja winemaking in both the vineyard and in the winery. We examine the contributions of Rioja’s Consejo Regulador and its regulatory and classification system We also define the different styles of wine found in Rioja today and how they pair with food. In a final section we analyze how Rioja is positioning itself in export markets and its prospects for export growth especially in the United States market.

What do consumers need to know about purchasing Rioja wines? To help readers make informed choices, our report and website www.i-winereview.com provide tasting notes and ratings for more than 350 Rioja wines. All of these wines are available in the United States but are not all widely available in retail stores. As the shelves of wine stores and/ or supermarkets feature different quality levels and styles of

Rioja wine, these reviews and ratings

informed

consumer

choices.

We

are essential to making also provide a list of

recommended producers.

Given the wide variety of Rioja

wines of different prices, styles and vintages on the market at any given moment, knowing the most reliable producers is often the single most essential information to making a wise purchase decision.

Acknowledgements

Many individuals and organizations have contributed to this report, and we would like to thank each and every one of

them.

First and foremost, Ricardo Aguiriano and Rebeca

Gomez of the Consejo Regulador de Rioja for their help in

organizing our visit to Rioja.

Pia Mara Finkell, Lisa Carley,

and Jon Stemel-- The Vibrant Rioja for their encouragement and support

team of all

in CRT/Tanaka aspects of our

work on Rioja. for his advice wine industry.

Tom Perry, Rioja Wine Exporters Association and sharing of information on the Rioja We also can’t say enough about the warm

hospitality and knowledge and information provided us by winemakers and staff of the wineries we visited. We received a great education thanks to all of them. In addition, this report would not have been possible without the complete cooperation of the importers and distributors who provided

us

with

samples

of

their

wines.

We

would

like

to

thank

Manager Robert Hall team of Jose Andres’

and Chef Ramon Martinez Jaleo Restaurant in Crystal

and the City, VA

for their collaboration on wine and food pairing.

We also

appreciate the help of Jose Guerra, Deputy Director, Wines from Spain in New York who encouraged and supported

our

work

and

disseminated

information

about

it.

We

also

wish to

express our appreciation to our Contributing Editor,

3

Ellen Kirsh, and Tasting Coordinator, Roy Wagner, for their inputs and to Miguel Reinares of the La Vineria wine shop in Logroño for his collaboration and professional insights

into the wines of Rioja.

Finally, we wish to acknowledge

with appreciation Hubrecht Duijker and John Bradford, two passionate wine writers who contributed considerably to our understanding of Rioja and its wines.

Michael Potashnik, Publishe , International Wine Review

Donald Winkle , Senior Edito , International Wine Review

Rioja’s 30 Noteworthy Classical And New Wave Producers

On the basis of our extensive tastings, the following producers are noteworthy for crafting some of Rioja’s finest classical (CL) and new wave (NW) wines. These producers are among the many outstanding wineries in Rioja whose wines are reviewed in the Tasting Notes and Rating Section of the report which begins on p. 12

Bodega Abel Mendoza NW Bodegas Altanza CL Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi NW Bodega Baigorri NW Baron de Ley CL Beronia CL Castillo de Cuzcurrita NW Contino CL El Coto CL Cune CL Finca Allende NW Agricola Labastida NW Viñedos Labastida CL Bodegas Lan CL Bodegas Medrano Irazu CL Marques de Murrieta CL/NW Marques de Caceres CL/NW Martinez Lacuesta CL Bodegas Muga CL/NW Bodegas y Viñedos Pujanza NW Remirez de Ganuza NW Bodegas Palacios Remondo NW Granja Nuestra Señora de Remelluri CL Bodegas Roda NW Señorio de San Vicente NW Sierra Cantabria NW Compañia de Vinos Telmo Rodriguez NW Bodegas Valdemar CL/NW Finca Valpiedra CL/NW Viñedos de Paganos NW

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