One of Rioja's most respected winemakers has launched a scathing attack on the growing number of cut price wines being produced by the Denominación.
Luis Valentín, of Bodegas Valenciso, pulled no punches when he spoke to Imbibe. 'Rioja is selling well – more and more,' he said. 'But there are concerns of vulgarisation of the region. You can find crianza in the supermarket in Spain for €4.
'We need to be making the promotion by looking at the great wines, not on price alone.'
The 2015 vintage – rated 'Very Good' by the Regulatory Council – saw yields at around 6.5 tonnes per hectare, but Valentín said that this level has been raised by 10% for 2016 in order to ease pressure on pricing.
'It's not because of a particularly short harvest,' he said, 'It's because of record sales in 2015.'
Last year, Rioja produced around 300m litres of wine, and sold a record 284m litres.