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My View: I worry Rioja may lose its distinctiveness

Published:  18 January, 2007

In June 2007, the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture substantially increased the list of permitted varieties.

Elsewhere in Spain, Priorat and Montsant are having to deal with a lack of ageing potential. As global warming affect us more, a solution needs to be found to reduce oxidisation and over-ripe fruit.

Josep Serra, wine maker for Mas Perinet, has been assisting the Montsant DO by trialing the likes of Cabernet-Franc, Marselanne, Viognier and even Touriga Nacional. The results are exceptional and, importantly, the essence of the wines has not been masked.

Last year also witnessed the arrival of a new DO, Toros' Picador, DO Tierra de Leon - formerly VT Castilla Leon. The Tempranillo and Verdejo produced in this region give similar Leon wines a real run for their money. Their local red variety, Prieto Picudo, is also one to look out for.

Antoine Peterson, owner Antoine Peterson Champagne