The Rioja wine region is the best known wine region in Spain, and one of only two Denominacions with a DOCa designation. This stands for Denominacion de Origen Calificada, and is above the usual DO status.
The region can be subdivided into three main zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Although good wine is produced in all three regions, the Alta region is generally rated highest in quality because the vines are grown at a higher altitude. The Alavesa region lies to the west of Logrono and is also esteemed, while the Baja region has a hotter and drier climate and produces full-bodied but perhaps not so subtle red Riojas.