Nestled in the northern part of Spain, the illustrious wine region of Rioja has a history that intertwines tradition and innovation. Protected by the appellation Rioja, Bodegas Manzanos stands as a prominent figure, owning vast vineyard expanses that epitomize the region’s viticultural heritage.

Rioja’s rich history traces back centuries, with viticulture roots dating to the Roman times. The region’s location plays a pivotal role in its success, situated in the Ebro River Valley, flanked by the Cantabrian Mountains to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda to the south. This geographical setting molds Rioja’s climate into a masterpiece, characterized by wet winters and scorching summers. With rainfall averaging below 300 liters per square meter, the climate creates a nurturing environment for vine health and grape maturation.

The diverse soil profile of Rioja mirrors the region’s complexity. In Rioja Alavesa, clay calcareous soils create the perfect canvas for Tempranillo, the quintessential grape of the region. The Rioja Alta boasts clay-ferrous, clay-calcareous, and alluvial soils, yielding expressive wines with unique characteristics. In the Rioja Oriental, Mediterranean influences bring forth alluvial and clay-ferrous soils, crafting balanced wines with a distinct flair.

Speaking of grape varieties, Rioja showcases a selection that truly captures its essence. The flagship grape, Tempranillo, flourishes across more than 75% of the region’s vineyards. This indigenous variety weaves its magic, resulting in wines boasting balance in alcohol, color, and acidity, with a velvety evolution as they age.

Graciano, a lesser-known native gem, has gained prominence. Bodegas Manzanos holds a significant portion of the appellation’s Graciano hectares, utilizing this variety to enhance their Reservas and Gran Reservas with body, structure, and aroma.

Garnacha and Mazuelo round out the red grape portfolio, complementing each other harmoniously. Garnacha contributes vigor, while Mazuelo introduces acidity and longevity to the wines, preserving their vibrancy over time.

The wines of Rioja, shaped by this historical terroir, unveil a spectrum of flavors. From the Atlantic-influenced Rioja Alavesa to the drier Rioja Oriental, each sub-area imparts distinct characteristics. Expect wines that range from velvety and fruity to structured and robust, mirroring the diverse microclimates and soils.

In conclusion, Rioja stands as a testament to the marriage between nature’s gifts and human craftsmanship. The region’s history, location, soil, and climate converge to cultivate a range of grapes that paint a rich mosaic of flavors and aromas. From the timeless Tempranillo to the emerging Graciano, Rioja’s wines encapsulate the heart and soul of Spanish winemaking, making them a delight for wine enthusiasts worldwide.

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