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TIM ATKIN – Discovering Rioja Oriental

100 kilometers of diversity according to four prestigious Masters of Wine, Tim Atkin, Pedro Ballesteros, Sarah Jane Evans and Andreas Kubach told their impressions about Rioja and tasted some Rioja wines at Prowine Germany.



“The new  projects emerging in Rioja Oriental make it a region with a very promising future .”


The way in which Tim Atkin refers to Rioja Oriental reveals his fascination for the area. The Master of Wine defines it as an area experiencing a true boom, a rebirth thanks to producers who have managed to make a name for themselves and take their wines to dozens of countries.


This movement is generating great interest in the area. Some define it as a revolution, although in reality these new projects are focusing on doing what was already done in the area 100 years ago, that is, cultivating varieties that were already used at the time, and working with vines planted in Rioja Oriental for decades.



For the expert, another key to explain the success of the area are the great contrasts it houses. Rioja Oriental has the highest altitude vineyards in the region, which in some cases combines with the Mediterranean character of the climate in this area, softened by the altitude.


Therefore, it is an area of great contrasts between the vineyards of the Ebro Valley and those of the slopes of the Iberian System in its different mountains (Yerga, Demanda, etc.).



Atkin also highlighted the elegance of the Garnacha in this area and the possibilities of the Mazuelo and Graciano varieties, due to their qualities in the face of climate change.


These were the wines tasted during his seminar:

  • Víctor Ausejo Viticulturist, Victor Ausejo 2021: Garnacha Blanca from Clavijo, a beautiful town on the border between Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa. Victor Ausejo is one of the new promises in this area.
  • Bodegas Palacios Remondo, Property 2020: A Classic by Álvaro Palacios, extremely renowned in the world of wine, and one of the great defenders of Rioja Oriental.
  • Wines En Voz Baja, El Outsider 2021: Made with 90% Garnacha and 10% white grape varieties, to add acidity. It comes from Aldeanueva, in Rioja Oriental, by the hand of Carlos Mazo, chosen young oenologist of the year 2022 by Tim Atkin.
  • Arizcuren Bodega y Viñedos, Solomazuelo Ánfora 2021: A pure and fine wine, coming from the slopes of Mount Yerga and aged for 8 months in amphoras.