Definition - What does Crianza mean?

Crianza is a Spanish wine classification used to indicate a wine that has been aged for at least 2 years. Used for wines from the Rioja region of Spain, Crianza is defined by the rules of the Denominacion de Origen Calificada (D.O.C.a), which regulates all aspects of wine production, including where the wines are made, how they are blended and how they aged.

WineFrog explains Crianza

Crianza is a rating classification used for both red and white wines produced in the Alava, Basque, Navarre and La Rioja wine regions. The wines are often made using a blend of wine from these regions.

Under the guidelines of the D.O.C.a, there are 4 classifications for Rioja;

  • Rioja, which is aged less than a year
  • Crianza, which is aged for at least 2 years,
  • Rioja Reserva, which has been aged for a minimum of three years
  • Rioja Gran Reserva, which is barrel aged for 2 years and bottle aged for 3 years.

These classifications are not always on the front wine label or a part of the wine name, but can be seen as a "Consejo" or stamp on the neck or back label of the bottle.

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