Argentinian Rioja vs. Spanish Rioja

by Marta Burgués

Considered the elixir of the gods in ancient Greece, wine is one of the most popular drinks around the world. Given its importance, on January 30, 2012, Wine Enthusiast magazine published the results of the competition to choose which is the best wine region in the world, with candidates in France, Italy, Spain, Argentina and the United States; an honor which finally went to the Italian region of Prosecco.

Indeed, between tasting and cheers, two wine regions stand out and draw attention. We refer to the Spanish La Rioja wine, which is the most prestigious vineyard area in Spain, and the Argentinian La Rioja, which belongs to a province in the north. Which one is the best? It is difficult to find a single winner since, if it is a matter of tastes and aromas, everyone has their own taste for the good wines that capture the preference of global markets.

The Spanish Rioja

The Spanish region extends over La Rioja Autonomous Community and several municipalities of the Basque Country and Navarre. This region covers an area of 60,000 hectares of vineyards where grows one of the most prestigious wines worldwide. La Rioja is a land of natural beauty, spread with vineyards and cellars which can be visited.

It should be noted that one of the most widespread grape variety is Tempranillo, which is a vine typically Spanish, so you get the best red wines. And one of the things that make these wines different from others is their good propensity to aging, which there is made in oak barrels.

There the wine evolves and undergoes a micro oxygenation process, acquiring the aromas and flavors from wood. Then, depending on the aging process followed for its elaboration, the Rioja wine is divided into four categories: young wine, aged wine, reserve wine and grand reserve wine. In most cases these are wines with a good balanced composition and excellent bouquet.

The Argentinian Rioja

Traveling across the world, in Argentina also highlights the area of La Rioja, a province located in the northwestern Argentina, rich in agriculture and mining, but highlighting the cultivation of wine grapes in the Famatina Valleys, which have some unique features in terms of temperatures and soil.

Indeed, there stands out the Chilecito area, with over 5,000 hectares and whose Rioja torrontés, which is its flagship white wine, possesses distinctive qualities in a great fruity variety and a golden white shade, unique in the world.

Another thing to consider is that in La Rioja, the red crops -especially the Bonarda grape- are the most produced for the consumption of table wines. Not surprisingly this region has won prizes in various competitions at international level, with varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin, Merlot and Chardonnay.

In conclusion, no doubt the best wine is the one that goes straight to the soul at the time of tasting. You already have an idea of the origin and production of two distinct geographical areas whose wines are considered among the best in the world, you have the final answer?

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