by Victor de la Serna
Although against the European decision to condone the use of oak chips to flavour wine, the Consejo Regulador in Rioja plans to allow its
producers to use foreign white grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Verdejo to supplement or even replace the local white varietal Viura, which has not provided the popular success that the red wines of Rioja enjoy. According to Victor Pascual Artacho, the association s president, no such plans are pending to allow the introduction of international red wine varieties. Instead, the region plans to promote the uniqueness of Tempranillo, which has slowly risen in consumer awareness over the past years.