Mediterranean wine culture was, in the Middle Ages, closely linked to the monastic life, as their major broadcasters were the monks.
Rioja area is no exception and is proud that Gonzalo de Berceo, the first poet who wrote in the Romance language, the wine mentioned in the verses he wrote from his retreat in the Suso Monastery in San Millán de la Cogolla.
The first document to make reference to protecting and ensuring the quality of Rioja wines dating from 1650, even before in 1102, King Sancho of Navarra legally recognized our prestigious wines.
In 1787 was created the Royal Economic Society Rioja Growers, aimed at promoting the cultivation of vines, wine production and trade development.
Already in the twentieth century, in 1902, was issued a Royal Decree which defined the "origin" for application to the wines of Rioja. In 1926 he decreed the creation of the Control Board whose mission was to identify the area of Rioja, control the issuance of the "seal of guarantee" and recommend legal action be taken against infringers and counterfeiters of the name "Rioja". However, until 1945, the agency would not be legally structured.
Finally, the Control Board was constituted in 1953, and thus began to lay the foundations for a modern and efficient performance.
In the evolution to the present Rioja wine is the approval in 1970 of the Rules of the Appellation of Origin and its Regulatory Board. In the same year when the agency acquired a well-defined structure and functions: "The defense of the Denomination of Origin, implementation, monitoring and promoting the quality of the wines covered were mandated, first, the Control Board."
After several amendments to the Regulation Governing the Control Board, which have been adapted to the needs raised in recent years, quality control systems have been perfected and also has enhanced the promotion.
After a long process in which the Denomination of Origin "Rioja" always bet on the quality and control at source, this effort reached its recognition.
On 3 April 1991 a Ministerial Order granted the status of Qualified Denomination of Origin 'Rioja' first and only in Spain that has this range.
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