Rioja, it is safe to say, is Spain’s wine making capitol. It is divided into three regions: the Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa are in the west, and the Rioja Baja is in the east and influenced by the warm Mediterranean. Many of the best grapes are grown on the cooler and more northern facing slopes of Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Alta. Nature has been very generous to Rioja. Not only is it sheltered from the worst Atlantic influences by the Cantabria and Demanda mountain ranges, but it also boasts the great River Ebro that almost bisects Spain. The Ebro runs right through the Rioja region, creating a series of microclimates as it provides much needed water for the vines