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Rioja recognized by industry professionals

In the realm of wine, Spain is a treasure trove of diversity, with intricate styles that appeal to the discerning palate. For those who know Spanish wine, Rioja is a symbol of tradition and excellence. In particular, the region’s red wines, which are mostly made from Tempranillo grapes, are a testament to Rioja’s unwavering commitment to the craft of winemaking.



Within the world of Rioja wines, industry professionals at Wine Spectator recognize the significance of the categories known as reservas and gran reservas. Reservas, aged for a minimum of three years, with at least one year in oak, exemplify the art of balance and refinement. Gran reservas elevate this artistry to its zenith, with a minimum of five years of aging, including at least two years in oak. These wines represent the zenith of Rioja’s winemaking expertise, embodying the perfect fusion of structure, expression, quality, and value that industry professionals hold in high regard.



As wine industry professionals, Wine Spectator recognizes the profound significance of Rioja wines, not just for their outstanding taste, but also for their remarkable versatility in food pairing. These wines are ideal companions for a wide array of culinary creations, elevating the dining experience to new heights. Consider the sublime synergy between Rioja’s rich red elixirs and the succulent flavors of grilled lamb chops. Equally captivating is the marriage of Rioja with mushroom-based dishes, a culinary alchemy that showcases the wines’ remarkable adaptability.



Beth Willard, a renowned judge at the Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), says she now plans to spend more time in Spain and contribute to the success of the region’s growers and winemakers in the future.



As a wine professional, Beth Willard identified Rioja as one of the wine regions to watch in 2024. While acknowledging some of the negatives, she would like to see Rioja wines, which are dominated by premium vineyards, get more attention. She believes that Rioja is one of the world’s producers of drunken quality wines, a rare combination that offers immediate pleasure and extraordinary aging potential.