Logroño, (EFE).- The President of the Government of Rioja, Concha Andreu, defended this Wednesday the unity of the Designation of Origin Qualified Rioja (DOCa), which “has made us strong and different and made us absolutely unmistakable on stage viticulture”.

“The originality (of each wine) depends on our unity and vice versa. No one is fooled or confused,” added Andreu during his speech during the institutional act of treading the grapes and offering the first must to the Virgin of Valvanera, patroness of La Rioja, within the San Mateo and the Riojane Harvest.

He hopes that “each of our wines, each Rioja, is an original work” and “originality is therefore the guarantee that we must continue to preserve at all costs”, “originality from the moment it is thought of to the moment it is tasted throughout the wine-growing sequence.

Wine, he asserted, constitutes “a vital, complete, imperishable lesson”; and it is an art, “the art of maturing” and “an art of waiting”, where, with each harvest, there are moments of uncertainty and strokes of luck.
He spoke of “an excited, but also attentive and assiduous expectation of the vine and the wine to come. For your continued adventure.

REBORN AND REINVENT

Ha recordado lo sucedido desde 2020, la “parálisis” producida por la pandemia, la “suspensión de esta cita -pisado de la uva- nuestra tradición de contacto temprano, piel con piel, con el primer mosto” y esta “brecha” de two years.
If we think about it, “the parallel appears to us immediately with the hope of being reborn and reinventing itself, which the wine achieves every year”, he indicated.

“Nobody – he insisted – could have warned us: the covid appeared like an invading and ferocious scourge, like a stone storm, like a sick wind”.

For her, since September 2019 – the first year she attended les foulées de raisin as president of La Rioja– So far, he has been, personally and as head of the regional government, “an education of hopes, commitments, ideas…”.

All this, “waiting for a day like today, in which we can open and celebrate, after two years of unprecedented waiting”, in which “the intensity of work and reflection on Rioja wine does not has not ceased and above all what binds us to its destiny, as a fruit, as an emblem and as an industry”.

“A two-year period during which we cultivated the desire and the need to see the light again. The one that the vineyard and also we need”, underlined Andreu, who considers herself “a woman of wine”.

“A kind of reinvention. And the reinvention of the future of Rioja is associated with a reinvention of our projects as a region of Spain”, according to the president, for whom this perspective is consolidated in an “indisputable, irreversible and joyful” way as one of the wine capitals of the world.

Andreu asked to deepen to “shape our society, our character and our economy”; and defended that “thinking about wine is (…) an essential way of thinking La Rioja”.

The recovery, which, like the crises, “is no longer a local problem, but a global problem, dependent on numerous and random vectors and agents, never seems fully confirmed”.
The pandemic has joined its trail to the invasion of Ukraine and “the long-awaited recovery must be accompanied by measures, care, justice and a complete and humane look around us”.

Andreu is aware of the “complexity” of the situation, but he has reasons to “renew and encourage the commitment to wine; of La Rioja society and its government”.
“Because we not only have a responsibility for its present, but also for its future, which in turn will be the wine that our future generations will inherit,” he stressed, because “wine is transmission, heritage. A wisdom”.

THE MOMENT OF OPPORTUNITY

He assured that now is “a moment of opportunity” and that he is “in the process of converting tradition into a vocation of integral modernity”, which values ​​all the dimensions of wine, applied to new formats that allow its projection, knowledge and marketing.
Added to this is the link with the global wine network: wine tourism, R&D, technological training, strategic positioning and competitive dynamism.

“But none of this would be essential, sincerely, if it weren’t backed by love, respect and the work of centuries”, he said, “an intimate and continuous admiration for the talent , the care and inspiration that gave it a unique personality for our wine.
This “accredits our present and, above all, future steps”, for Andreu, who recalled that La Rioja will host the VII World Conference on Wine Tourism of the World Tourism Organization in 2023, of which he receives testimony this Wednesday in the Italian city of Alba.

This Conference is the first world event dedicated to highlighting the qualities of wine in the enrichment of the tourist offer and, therefore, to the cultural, historical, gastronomic and recreational discovery of the regions that produce it and take care of it. .
He ended his speech with the toast he made during the 2019 grape stride: “Happy New Year, women and men of Rioja wine. Happy New Year, Rioja men and women; those who live here and those who live in Latin America or in other latitudes, and to whom we feel closer than ever! Happy New Year, ma’am!”

She asked the participants to sing with her “Vive la Rioja!” and long live the earth and the hands that make this possible!

By Ana Lumbreras

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