Experience Vibrant Rioja ... Online!
In this first-of-its-kind Web initiative, Spain's most famous wine region comes directly to you. Experience Rioja as if you were there, as you watch interviews with its leading winemakers and chefs and tour the vineyards, wineries and restaurant kitchens that make this region among the most talked-about in Spain.
Discover a land of breathtaking beauty and cutting-edge architecture, whose people live for wine. America's leading sommeliers and the professional chefs at the Culinary Institute of America weigh in with their guidance on matching Rioja's expressive red and white wines with food. All in all, it's a delightful immersion in the rich history, culture and flavors of this storied wine region.
Narrated by Jonathan
Coleman. Jonathan Coleman is a nationally recognized narrator of documentaries
and audio books and does voiceovers for many other mediums. He is
a New York Times bestselling author of narrative nonfiction,
and a former producer and correspondent for CBS News.
View the Flash videos below; divided into chapters for your convenience.
Chapter 1 - Rioja: Land of a Thousand Wines
A region with a centuries-old winemaking history prepares for the future, with big new ideas shaping its architecture, its kitchens and its wine cellars.
For one young New York sommelier, taking colleagues to his favorite wine region was a dream come true.
Location, location, location. Rioja's unique geography yields three distinct viticultural zones.
Thanks to the mountains, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, Rioja is a land of microclimates. While one vineyard basks in warmth, another enjoys a blanket of cool, moist Atlantic air.
Rioja's soils are as complex as its climate. Getting the right grape matched to the right soil and site has consumed winemakers here for generations.
Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja. To appreciate Rioja in all its diversity, a wine lover needs to know the strengths and features of each of these three viticultural zones.
The Tempranillo grape expresses itself to the fullest in only one place on earth.
Tempranillo excels in Rioja, but it's not the only red grape to do so. Three other varieties contribute profoundly to the character of Rioja's red blends.
Although Rioja has a long history of association with Bordeaux, it arguably has more in common with Burgundy.
Any visitor to Rioja would have to conclude that its vintners are some of the most passionate people in the wine trade.
The most traditional winery in Rioja is now in the hands of two proud young sisters who remain dedicated to the successful ways of their ancestors.
The young staff at Marques de Murieta is keeping this 150-year-old winery in the forefront with contemporary winemaking ideas.
A vintner with roots in France and Spain shakes up Rioja in 1970 with his modern views and techniques.
The people of Rioja celebrate their wine-centered life with harvest festivals that unite the community.
One of the most moving tales in modern-day Rioja is the life story of David Moreno. And to hear him sing the jota is thrilling.
Some of the world's leading modernist architects have been leaving their stamp on Rioja.
What is old-style Rioja? What is modern Rioja? The old labels may no longer apply.
On every Rioja wine label, there are clues to what's inside.
Today's winemakers are merging the proven techniques of the past with the latest in winemaking and vineyard technology.
Spain's nueva cocina, or new-wave cooking, has swept Rioja, but traditional cooking retains a foothold, too.
Good food is a way of life in Rioja…and the wine of choice is almost always local.
Rioja produces some of the world's most food-friendly wines and, experts say, some of its best values.