Ever wondered what the Denominación de Origen Calificada (DOC) statement on the label of a Rioja means?
Spain has more land dedicated to vineyards than any other country in the world. In 1932 it introduced laws governing the quality of Spanish wine.
Spanish wines are divided into four categories; two that have Quality Wines Produced in a Special Region (QWPSR) status and two that do not.
QWPSR is an EU classification which protects the geographical origins of products. It guarantees that Champagne can only be called so if it comes from the Champagne region.
The four Spanish classifications are as follows:
Vino de Mesa; literally table wine. The lowest grade available often made from a blend of wines from different regions and can only say ‘Product of Spain’ on the label.
Vino de la Tierra – VdlT or VT; indicating wine of the country. Made from wine from a specific region and may use the name of that region on the label.
Denominación de Origen – DO; QWPSR status dictates that wines with this classification are sourced from designated wine growing regions and are produced to exacting standards.
Denominación de Origen Calificada – DOC / DOCa / DOCq; this is reserved for the DO regions that produce wines of exceptional quality. Only two of the 89 regions in Spain have achieved this, Rioja and Priorat.
If Rioja is your thing make sure it has a label on it like the one below.
If you are interested in Rioja then why not try our Beronia Reserva.