The landscape of Spanish wine law in Rioja is on the move again (http://www.decanter.com/news/283815.html), with the Riojan government about to authorise a set of new varieties, following the other weeks approval by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture and the Rioja Consejo Regulador. The new white varieties are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Verdejo along with the native varieties of Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco and Turruntés. As for the red varieties the additions are little known Maturana Tinta, Maturana Parda and Monestel.
With the new international white varieties, they cannot exceed 49% of the blend with a minimum of 51% Viura, the aim of this according to Ricardo Aguiriano San Vincente, director of marketing for Rioja's Consejo Regulador, is to make Viura more fruity and fresh, which according to him is what the consumers want!
What is the point in having all this complicated European wine law, which is designed to protect regionality and heritage of the local wines, when all they do is change them when a regions wine sales begin to struggle. If producers want to introduce new varieties into their blends then they should do so with the loss of the quality status, as was seen in Italy with the introduction of the “Super Tuscans”.