The Tasting Panel magazine

September 2012

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Page 98 of 132

New Faces of R ioja is a wine region poised to transcend its rich heritage. This next generation of winemakers in Rioja embraces modern technique and style as participants in the region's recent renaissance. They value tradition, but are determined to write the next chapter in Rioja's storied history. Driven by their desire to marry the Rioja's institutional practices with the innovations of modern winemaking, this generation is ensur- ing the region's continued evolution. The Rioja Denominación de Origen Califi cada (D.O.Ca.) is Spain's most famous wine appellation and an integral part of the country's culture. Winemaking in Rioja has an ancient lineage dating back to the Phoenicians and Celtiberians. Currently, more than 63,000 hectares of grapes are being cultivated that annually yield 267 million liters of fi nished product. Rioja's next wave of winemakers has success- fully bridged the gap between tradition and innovation. Their wines deserve a place on your lists and in your cellars. Here are a few of the region's rising stars. THE CURRENT GENERATION MELDS TRADITION AND INNOVATION IN SPAIN'S MOST FAMOUS APPELLATION by Ben Weinberg Rioja At the Vibrant Rioja event in Miami (left to right): Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara; Javier Murúa of Bodegas Muriel; wine educator Marnie Old; Carlos Martínez Bujanda of Bodegas Valdemar; Raquel Pérez of Bodegas Ontañón; Victor Pascual Artacho, Rioja DOCa Chairman; José Luis Benitez, Director General of Grupo Rioja. 98 / the tasting panel / september 2012 PHOTO: GREG NESBIT PHOTOGRAPHY

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