The Denominacion de Origen Calificada (Spanish equivalent of the D.O.C., Denomination of Controlled Origin) Rioja has probably been Spain's most famous red wine since the mid-nineteenth century. It is the only Spanish Denomination of Origin (Denominacion de Origen, D.O.) and the only one, together with the priorat, to enjoy the D.O.C. distinction.
It extends beyond the boundaries of the autonomous community, or autonomous administrative region, of La Rioja, and also covers parts of the autonomous communities of Navarre, the Basque Country and Castile and Leon.
Rioja wines are fine, aromatic and balanced.
There are three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa.