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Wine Blog


Wine culture is a huge part of the collage known as La Rioja. It’s a facet of who we are, a legacy that’s rooted in the very ground beneath us… and one that’s intrinsic to the Hotel Santa María Briones. The region is covered in miles and miles of vineyards and home to more than 500 wineries. Our wines travel to 124 different countries, some halfway around the world; they represent us on a national and international level.

Tipos de uva La Rioja

An entire universe of winemaking knowledge is hidden within the many types of grapes used to make wine in La Rioja. A unique understanding exemplified by techniques adapted to each season, various methods and means of production, and know-how that’s passed down in our blood. It’s a way of life into which we’re born… We may classify them as white or red, but they’re all united by common roots…

These are the varieties of grape that are authorized in La Rioja.

White Grapes


Also known as Macabeo, this variety comprises 68.7% of white grapes grown in the region, making it the most common white grape cultivated in La Rioja. It has large, flat, green leaves and grapes characterized by their white flesh. With a floral aroma and high levels of acidity, it’s perfect for producing white wines, both joven (young) and Crianza (aged).



La Rioja’s Malvasia grape produces wines of the highest quality. Its large leaves are pale green and very soft to the touch. This grape makes up only 2.2% of the varieties of white grapes grown in the region. One of its main characteristics is its intense aroma.


Grenache blanc

Making up 3.6% of our white grapes, this variety is very similar to red Grenache and can be found in cooler temperature zones. Many believe this grape could be a mutation of red Grenache, and it behaves in much the same way.

Garnacha blanca tipos de uva La Rioja


This is the world’s best-known variety… From small clusters come big wines with a potent aroma in a yellow or greenish color. Chardonnay makes up only 2.6% of the varieties of white grape authorized in La Rioja, as it’s not a very productive strain.


Sauvignon Blanc

Comprising 3.3% of white grapes, this variety produces wines of a superb quality. Its features include particularly lightweight and compact clusters. This grape packs an aromatic punch and is used to produce dry white wines with a hint of acidity.



This variety is instantly recognizable thanks to its dark green leaves and yellowish-green grapes with their thick skin. Its sweet, fruity notes are balanced by its delightful acidity and a hint of bitterness. In La Rioja, Verdejo makes up 5.4% of white grapes.


Maturana blanca

At only 0.6%, Maturana blanca is the oldest variety of grape in La Rioja, with mention of it recorded as early as the 17th century. It’s incredibly fertile and grows in small bunches. This grape variety has a high acidity level and fruity aroma.


Tempranillo blanco

This variety makes up 12.6% of the region’s white grapes. Hardy and perfect for making all kinds of wine. Greenish-yellow in color, wines made from this grape give off a fruity, floral aroma. This grape is actually the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation in the vine shoots of a certain strain of red Tempranillo.



Growing in small clusters of fruit sporting a subtle golden hue and dark spots, the resulting wine has a yellowish color and fruity, herbaceous aroma. It’s light on the palate with a low alcohol content but high acidity. The Turruntés variety makes up only 0.1% of La Rioja’s white grapes.

Red grapes


Versatile and universal, this grape makes up 87.7% of red varieties in La Rioja. It’s perfectly suited to clay-packed soil, and its bluish-black color is unmistakable. Its aroma brings to mind visions of red fruits, and it can be used to make longer-aged wines that have a velvety feel on the palate.

Tempranillo tipos de uva La Rioja


Fresh, aromatic, and comprising 7.5% of red varieties. Unlike Tempranillo, this is a very robust grape. Originating in Aragon, this is the most commonly planted variety of red grape in all of Spain.



This slow-ripening grape makes up 2.1% of red grapes grown in La Rioja. Its wines come with high levels of acidity and are characterized by a distinctive aroma. It’s also very recognizable for its bright red color.



Also known as Carignan, this is a highly productive variety, making up 2% of La Rioja’s red grapes. Mazuelo wines are distinguishable thanks to their vivid garnet color and high acidity accompanied by subtle notes of sweetness. Mazuelo wines have a coarse mouthfeel.


Maturana tinta

This last of the red varieties represents only 0.3% of them. Its grapes are a vivid violet-red color. Small clusters produce wines with an intense color, spicy herbal aroma, and high levels of acidity. This variety is only grown in La Rioja.

Tipos de uva La Rioja

Learning about grapes is one of many ways to familiarize yourself with a region like this, though nothing beats the true La Rioja experience: smelling, touching, and tasting it…

We’re ready to help you do just that at our Santa María Briones boutique hotel:
+ 34 941 991 599

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