R is for Rioja, or La Rioja, a region of Spain not to be missed. Dotted with picturesque vinyards, the rioja wine from this region is so special even a minor planet is named after it (209083 Rioja is it's name)
The cool climate is just one the factors explaining why German wines are some of the most difficult to make. Several of the vineyards lie at the northen limit for wine production. Nonetheless, in good years the grapes ripen slowly and can provide a wonderful balance between fruit and acidity. Winemaking was introduced to the region by the Romans who observed where the snow first melted, indicating where grapes might succesfully ripen.