Rioja & Pinot Noir
Rioja region in the northern part of the country, not far from the French border. Though wines have been made in Rioja for millennia, the quintessential Riojas were shaped in the late 1800s by Bordeaux winemakers who migrated to Rioja after phylloxera infestations decimated their vineyards. French winemaking techniques, which include careful blending and the extensive use of small oak barrels for aging, still define many Rioja wines.
Pinot noir as a grape is much more delicate than cabernet sauvignon. It has a pale color in the glass and zesty acidity. With thin black skinned grapes in tightly wound bunches it struggles to gather precious sun in the valleys it grows best.