In 2017, the D.O.C. Rioja premium appellation (D.O.C. Rioja) began regulating and protecting the production of premium white grape sparkling wines and pink sparkling wines, but by then many Rioja wineries had long histories of producing sparkling wines, such as CVNE Wine Group, Faustino Winery, Ondarre Winery, Muga Winery, and Escudero. However, since the creation of the D.O. Cava appellation in 1972, it has covered the production of sparkling wine in Rioja.
Image courtesy of: Penin Guide Spain
Since 2017, Rioja has included sparkling wines under the protection of the Appellation of Origin. In order to make sparkling wines, it is possible to use all grape varieties authorized by the Rioja Premium Appellation, and in the case of pink sparkling wines, they must contain 25% red grapes. Another detail is that they exclusively use healthy and ripe grapes to produce premium sparkling wines with a minimum natural alcohol content of 9.5% (both red and white grapes). In addition, the minimum time required for the second fermentation of premium Rioja sparkling wines lasts 15 months, for Reserve sparkling wines 24 months and for Grand Reserve sparkling wines 36 months.
As explained by the Rioja Premium Appellation, all the requirements indicate their intention to offer the market a high quality sparkling wine under the Rioja brand. Currently, four wineries have passed the double qualitative assessment. These wineries that have already released or will soon release their sparkling wines are: BilBainas Winery, Vivanco Winery, Urbina Winery and Aldeanueva Group.