Quality and origin guarantees for Rioja wines from harvest.
The harvest is one of the key moments when the complete control system established by the Board to guarantee the origin and quality of wines produced in Rioja is applied. During the harvest, the Board Inspection Services monitor the transfer of grapes, control the borders of the Wine region, verify the quality of the grapes and coordinate the more than 200 "harvest helpers" expressly hired by the Board to monitor the weighing of all grape production on each of the scales located at the winemaking centres.
In order to grow or sell grapes with the right to use the Denominación de Origen Calificada Rioja, the more than 18,000 vineyard owners currently in Rioja must have a supporting document, the "Grape grower's Record Book", where the registered surface area of the vineyard and the maximum authorised grape output in kg must appear, in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations. This is 6,500 kg per hectare for red varieties and 9,000 kg per hectare for white varieties.
The right to use the name Rioja for the production obtained by each grape grower is also conditioned by prior compliance with authorised growing practices and the weighing of harvested grapes in the presence of the Board's weighing supervisor to guarantee the true harvest volume obtained in the D.O. In all winemaking bodegas, whether they are a winegrower, co-operative or trading company, the corresponding weight slip is written out for each consignment of grape received and individualised according to the class of grape, red or white and the place of origin of the grape.
Every bodega wishing to make wine must inform the Control Board sufficiently in advance giving the start date or the opening of the grape harvest, as well as the points or places where this will happen and also reception timetable, as all the grapes must be weighed in the presence of the Board's supervisor. Once the harvest is over and independently of the grape grower's harvest statement, commercial producers submit slips to the Control Board for each consignment of grapes acquired together with the list of sellers and harvest information.
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