A new order from Spain’s Ministry of Agriculture recognizes 12 new vine-growing sites of Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin with the qualitative distinction of ‘Singular Vineyard’. The official approval of the first Singular Vineyards happened in 2019, and the Ministry of Agriculture has since made two extensions, consolidating its progress. Currently, Rioja already has 133 ‘Singular Vineyards’ from 81 owners and a total area of more than 220 hectares.
The Regulatory Council of the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin has been working hand in hand with the Ministry since 2017 in the development of this project of excellence, which is a pioneering initiative in the Spanish wine scene and focuses on the uniqueness of the different terroirs that exist in Rioja. This new classification complements the classification by aging at a time when Rioja’s blended wines already hold high levels of recognition. The Singular Vineyard figure combines agronomic factors with qualitative aspects that guarantee an outstanding quality of the final product.
Fernando Ezquerro, president of the Regulatory Council, has assessed this new milestone very positively: “for the fourth consecutive year, we have managed to enrich the already diverse offer of Rioja with new Singular Vineyards. The interest from new operators confirms that the figure is consolidating”.
Qualitative requirements for the wines from ‘Viñedo Singular’:
They were defined as wines from vineyards with a series of qualitative guarantees such as being over 35 years old and whose yields do not exceed, by virtue of their naturally limited vigor, 5,000 kg per hectare in the case of red varieties and 6,922 kg per hectare in white varieties. Also, its vinification is limited to 65 liters per 100 kg of grapes, its cultivation is respectful with the environment and its harvest is manual.
It is also noteworthy that the wine is evaluated twice: freshly produced and just before it is marketed, and at this time it must be considered excellent by most of the tasters who evaluate it.
The back labels that appear on the bottles state “Singular Vineyard” to let consumers know that all the characteristics described above are certified by the Regulatory Council.