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Wine from Ribera Alta

The midsection of Navarra

Ribera Alta is one of the five sub-regions of Navarra.

This is a larger area, which is found to be accounting for almost a third of all the production in Navarra.

Navarra is an autonomous wine region in the northern part of Spain.

It’s to be mentioned here that Navarra is known for producing some of the finest wines in Spain.

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This Navarra, which is entitled with the D.O designation, is sub-divided into five distinct regions with each one producing a distinctive kind of wine.

Location and Landscape of Ribera Alta

The sub-region Ribera Alta is located along the midsection of Navarra in a transitional line between the region’s northern and southern zones.

We can see that Ribera Alta forms an area of gentle relief in the northern zone of Navarra and surrounding the River Ega.

Then, the landscape of Ribera Alta is found to be gradually flattening out towards the southern zone, where we can see alternating vineyards and cereal fields.

As such, the total surface area of Ribera Alta is 4,125 hectares.

The Ribera Alta sub-region is further sub-divided into the following zones:

  • Olite
  • Lerín
  • Marcilla

Important Winemaking Municipalities of Ribera Alta

We can’t say that all the municipalities of Ribera Alta are important when it comes to winemaking.

As such, the important winemaking municipalities of Ribera Alta are as follows:

  • Artajona
  • Beire
  • Berbinzana
  • Cadreita
  • Caparroso
  • Cárcar
  • Carcastillo
  • Falces
  • Funes
  • Larraga
  • Lerín
  • Lodosa
  • Marcilla
  • Mélida
  • Milagro
  • Miranda de Arga
  • Murillo el Cuende
  • Murillo el Fruto
  • Olite
  • Peralta
  • Pitillas
  • Sansoain
  • Santacara
  • Sesma
  • Tafalla
  • Villafranca

It’s to be noted here that although the main town of Ribera Alta is Tafalla, a major part of the region’s vineyard activities is found to be taking place around the historical town Olite.

Climate and Soil Conditions in Ribera Alta

Just like the other sub-regions of Navarra, the Ribera Alta region also comprises a blend of soils based on the altitude and the composition of substrata.

In most of the slopes, the depth of the soil, as well as the size of the particular, is found to be greatly varying with layers of fine or silty loam, interspersed with marl and sand.

While this is the soil trend in most of the slopes, some places like Cárcar, Sesma, Lerín, and Falces have their vineyards at various levels of alluvial terraces that have been deposited by various rivers of the region.

Here and there, we can also find some loamy, as well as rocky textures, which are known for providing an outstanding drainage to the vineyards.

High up on the terraces, you can even see the limestone bedrock rising to a shallow depth.

When it comes to climatic conditions, it has been found that the northern part of the sub-region is hotter and drier with an average rainfall of 525 mm, whereas the southern part is found to be semi-arid with an average rainfall of 444 to 472 mm.

However, these climatic transitions are not very rapid because the relief is slightly flat.

Overall, the Ribera Alta sub-region is warmer than its neighboring sub-regions as it is far from the Atlantic and Pyrenees influences.

Within the sub-region, the growing period for the vineyards is varying between 234 to 259 days.

Grape Varieties in Ribera Alta

The most predominant grape variety in Ribera Alta is Tempranillo. There is a range of other reds as well here.

In the white category, we can find a higher concentration of Chardonnay along with small quantities of Moscatel de Grano Menudo.

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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Vineyards in Ribera Alta, Navarra

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