Frustration in Rioja

Wed 30 Jun 2004

The trade magazine Harpers reports that wine growers in Rioja are becoming frustrated with what they feel are the restrictive regulations imnposed by the Consejo Regulador.

Javier Ybáñez, Export Manager for Marqués de Riscal says the company would like to experiment with Merlot and Syrah, but under the existing rules, would not be allowed to brand the wine as Rioja. 'The Consejo Regulador tries to protect the growers, which is 100% right, but I think it's too restrictive because it's our risk if we want to try another variety. I know you have to protect the Rioja image, but the Consejo doesn't offer the opportunities to see if the Merlot grape can work here. Identity is one thing - experimentation is another.'

Marqués de Riscal hopes to open it's new £40m Frank Gehry-designed 'city of wine' in September 2005.


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