This is why wine is fun. It’s a playful drink that’s produced dead-seriously so that we get the best play. Spain takes this in stride.
What the heck is a DOCa!?
Denominación de Origen Calificada, or DOCa, refers to various wine regions in Spain that are quality-controlled by various Spanish government mandated laws. Currently, there are only two wine growing regions in Spain that meet the quality and consistency standards of the Spanish to hold this designation — Rioja and Priorat.
Rioja DOCa currently has over 1,400 Bodegas (wineries) within its borders, known to grow Tempranillo (dominant variety), Garnacha, Mazuelo, Maturana Tina and Graciano grapes. Vineyard coverage throughout the region spans over 63,000 hectares. Both red and white wines produced in this region that are aged for varying time periods are given special designations.
Priorat DOCa holds over 80 Bodegas spanning 1,800 hectares (numbers rounded slightly as this has been increasing) primarily growing and producing Garnacha Tinta and Cariñena. These grape varieties are followed closely by an increasing amount of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc.
Vines grow in stunning Rioja, Spain. Image courtesy DOCa Rioja.