On the odd occasion while enjoying a glass of wine in your SPAIN HOLIDAY HOMES you ever wonder about its history. Rioja most know of as a wine, a wine with an excellent reputation and an ancient heritage originally dating back to the time of the Phoenicians and the Celtiberians.

A document dated 873 from the public notary of San Millan deals with a donation to a Monastery San Andres de Trepeana. Monks were the most likely to deal with wine in its earliest form. Gonzalo de Berceo, a known poet and clergy man of the monastery in San Millan de la Cogolla (La Rioja), mentioned the wine in some of his works. In 1102, the King of Navarra and Aragon legally recognised Rioja wine and in 1560 harvesters chose the symbol to represent the quality of wines. Due to the possibility of vibrations from passing carts in the streets of Longrono, the Mayor prohibited the movement near wine cellars and then in 1650 the very first document protecting the quality of the wine was drawn up. In 1790 discussions on how to construct and maintain roads for transporting the wine were held at an inaugural meeting of the Real Sociedad Economica de Cosecherosde la Rioja. In 1902 a royal decree determined the origin of Rioja controlling the name and its use thereafter.

So where does Rioja come from? There are three principle regions. Rioja Alta is on the western edge of the region and is an old wine grown in higher elevated areas for a lighter wine. Rioja Alavesa produces a full bodied wine: the vines are grown further apart because of the poor conditions in the ground. Both the Alta and Alavesa have a continental climate governing their growth while the Rioja Baja is influenced by the Mediterranean climate with warmer and drier conditions. The possibility of drought exists although irrigation has been permitted which means that the Rioja Beja wines have a deep red colour unlike the other two which are lighter.

Now that you have a general idea about the wine the discussion would normally turn to what to do with it. Well apart from drinking it down at the local restaurant that is. In the small town of Haro in La Rioja region, inhabitants get together for a celebration of San Pedro which lasts a week. It’s a wine festival with all the normal traditions: contests, craft fairs, food and of course wine. On the last day, usually 29th June, everyone dresses in white with red scarves and then march through the town led by the Mayor on horseback up to the cliffs of Bilibio where a mass service is held. Immediately afterwards a massive battle commences as people armed with anything from mugs to buckets filled with wine commence throwing the liquid over each other in an attempt to discolour the opponents as much as possible. The battle ends once the wine is finished: the participants that took part are stained from head to toe but would partake in other festivities until the end of day and return home. Enjoy your vacation while on your SPAIN HOLIDAY HOMES and do not forget the wine on your table.

Author's Bio: 

Travel writer writing especially about my adopted home of Spain for Akilar.com providing Holiday Rentals from the OWNERS DIRECT.