I am writing these few lines when 2014 is coming to an end. After several years of hard work, and the pleasure of trying many Rioja wines, this project is coming to an end. I wanted to do something different, something that would help wine lovers to kw more about the Rioja wines, but especially about the wineries, because although the soil and terroir are crucial for good wine, it is equally important the people behind; some wineries belong to huge groups focus on profit, while many are small and medium size wineries which are run by families generation after generation. It is also important to see the countryside, many of you, my lovely readers, may never be able to visit the beautiful landscapes od Rioja, but I bringing you lots of pictures to give you an idea. In this book I have covered: -All the Rioja DOCa registered wineries, which are almost 600. -History about Rioja and the wine. -Rioja with the different production sub areas, climate and weather. -The different grape varieties you can find in Rioja -The official classification of the wines, and what do they mean to you. -Wine making and styles. -The vintage classification -My favourite Rioja wines (just a few). -Over 450 photographs. With the exception of my favourite wines by price at the end of the book, I have covered other wines, why? I wanted this book to be educational while fun, and rather than providing a list of wine reviews (there are already many books covering this), I wanted to share with you information about Rioja, its wines, its people and their passion, generation after generation, to make some unique wines. I have thoroughly visited Rioja and many of the wineries, but t all. I have interview winemakers, family members, etc and I have tried to reflect with their own words, what is their winery and wines about. As a result you will find in several winery descriptions, that they consider their area to be exceptional, and it is for them, so I have respected their views, mostly because they tend to be right: It does t matter how many wineries I visit I have always been treated fantastically, by kind generous people, ather characteristic of Rioja. I wanted to finish this introduction by thanking again to all those wineries, that even though being very busy (some of them even liaised with me during harvest time), they found the time to speak to me, send me information, send me photographs, and sometimes, share a few glasses of wine together.
Alfredo de la Casa was born in Paddington, London (England) in a sunny May day in 1970 where, some years later, he graduated as a Chartered Management Accountant (CIMA) and as International Risk Practitioner (CIRM). He also has a degree in Economics, Business and Marketing from a Spanish University, homeland of his parents, where he lived for some time. Two of his wine books have won the international Gourmand award in 2014. He is currently living in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) where he combines lecturing at several International Universities, with writing for several of the main publications in Vietnam, including The Guide (largest lifestyle magazine in Vietnam) and Vietnam Economic Times (covering hospitality, culture, business and economics), as well as Saigoneer (where he is the Food & Beverage editor), he also writes the wine column for Oi! He is also an active wine writer, and has created the first wine blog in Vietnam (http: //wineinvietnam.blogspot.com/ ). His true passion for food and wine, as well as a lot of pushing from his friends led him to write his first book D.O./D.O.C. wine producing areas in Spain in 2009, covering the different wine producing areas in Spain, regions, main grapes and vintages. The book was republished in 2012 as Wines from Spain: D.O./D.O.C. wine producing areas in Spain. Introduction to wine and wine tasting covers the basics of wine and wine tasting aiming to pass knowledge in plain English to those who want to learn more about wine and about enjoying wine, and winner of the Gourmand International Award to best wine education book. How to live in Vietnam for under $300 a month: working 10 hours a month is his latest book, sharing his knowledge and experience about leaving in Vietnam on a budget, how to earn enough to live well by working just 10 hours a month. An easy to read description of life and costs in Vietnam, work and culture; when many people are struggling to live in the West due to increasing costs, this book is an eye opener on how to live in paradise with little work. Sherry wines, from origins to food pairing won another Gourmand international award. An introductory book to the amazing world of sherry wine.