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Rioja

The winegrowing sector in Spain is one of the most important in Europe and is classified with the highest quality level DOCa (Denominación de Origen Calificada). Although a large part of the vineyards with 62,000 hectares are located in the northeastern Spanish province of La Rioja, a part of it is also located in the provinces of the Basque Country (Subzone Alavesa) and Navarre (parts of Subzone Rioja Baja). The area has a very ancient viticultural history. There are numerous stone fermenting vats that testify to the existence of wine-growing in ancient times. The most typical are the guardaviñas, found in Rioja Alta in Ábalos, Briones and San Asensio. These dome-like stone constructions were used as shelters for winegrowers and their livestock in bad weather, as well as for monitoring harvests.

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