On September 9, 2022, the Rioja Qualified Designation of Origin (DOC) Regulatory Council reached a unanimous agreement to make significant changes to its statutes and operating conditions. This decision has received official approval through a ministerial order that was published in the Official State Gazette (BOE), thus giving legal character to the modifications agreed by the entity that regulates one of the most prestigious wines in Spain and the world.
The changes address two crucial aspects that are focused on ensuring the exclusivity of production from vineyards registered under the DOC Rioja. In the first of them, article 26 of the statutes is modified, which is entitled ‘Registry of Vineyards and their owners’. This article includes a clause that establishes the exclusivity of the use of the grape for the production of wine under the DOC Rioja. In other words, only the vineyards registered in the denomination may use their grapes for the production of wines bearing the DOC Rioja label.
Additionally, a second paragraph has been included in the same article that stipulates that if an operator is removed from the registry for not having used their grapes to make wine protected by the DOC Rioja, said operator may not be re-registered. until a complete viticultural campaign has not elapsed since your request for re-registration.
It is noteworthy that the State Attorney’s Office, within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, has issued a favorable opinion regarding these modifications. Likewise, it is worth mentioning that the Ministry has dismissed the allegations that were presented by the Basque Government in relation to the modifications in question.
These amendments are integrated into a framework of regulations and conditions that were already in force, and whose purpose is to guarantee exclusivity not only in production, but also in the production and storage of wines under the DOC Rioja.
From the DOC Rioja, it has been emphasized that one of the fundamental objectives of these modifications is to protect the patrimony and goodwill of the denomination, in addition to strengthening the guarantees it offers. This is in line with the denomination’s sustained commitment to seek the highest quality, rigor and excellence in every aspect, both of the final product and of all the processes involved in its production.
Fernando Ezquerro, president of the DOCa Rioja, stated that this decision reinforces the voluntary nature of belonging to the denomination and highlights the importance of committing fully and with integrity while being part of it.
This measure is a significant step in the continuous evolution of the DOC Rioja, which seeks to safeguard its legacy and maintain the high standards that have positioned it as a benchmark in the world of wine.