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Wine News

Rioja allows global grapes

Rioja’s white wines will in future be able to include Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo. The region’s wine body, the OIPVR (Organizacion Interprofesional del Vino de Rioja), has agreed to allow the grapes to be used from the 2007 vintage. The trio can’t, however, be made as varietals or be the major part of a blend. The rule is that they may not, together or individually, make up more than 49 per cent of the wine. The decision has been taken in a bid to improve the competitiveness of the DOC’s white wines. Until the change, only three varieties were available to winemakers in the region – Viura, Malvasia Riojana and Garnacha Blanca.

At the same time, the OIPVR has permitted some old indigenous varieties to be reintroduced. These include the white grapes Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco and Turruntes as well as reds Maturana Tinta and Parda and Monastel de Rioja. These red grapes join Tempranillo, Mazuela, Garnacha Tinta and Graciano, which are the principal varieties for the region’s red wines.