This page is a part of the Spanish Wine FAQ.
La RiojaLa Rioja is a region in the north of Spain, just south of the Basque Country. The most common grape used for Rioja is Tempranillo, a grape native to Spain (the name is derived from the Spanish word 'temprano', which means 'early', as the grape becomes ripe earlier than other grapes). Other grapes used for Rioja include Garnacha Tinta, Graciano and Mazuelo.
If you'd like to sample some of these wines, there are a number of Rioja Wine Tours
Ribera del DueroRibera del Duero is a stretch of land along the river Duero in Castilla-Leon, extending from Burgos to Valladolid and including the town of Peñafiel. Ribera del Duero wine uses Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo grapes. The most expensive wine in Spain, made by Vega Sicilia, comes from this region.
Other famous red wine regions in Spain include Navarra, Priorato, Penedès and Albariño.
The immense popularity of Rioja and Ribera del Duero has repercussions when ordering wine in a restaurant in Spain. Read more about Ordering Wine in a Restaurant in Spain.
See also: Spanish White Wines
Thanks to Mary O´Connor of Planeta Vino Wine Tasting School, Madrid for her help with this page.