Weekly Wine Quiz: The (Spanish) Name Game

Vinted on July 13, 2012 binned in wine quiz

Welcome to the Weekly Wine Quiz!

Based on feedback from ever-so-vocal-and-intelligent peeps like you, I do not supply the quiz answer directly in the post – you will need to tune back in later in the comments section for the answer. Yeah, yeah, whatever, let’s get to the question already!

Our current round of wine quiz questions are focused on the Rioja winemaking region, and hopefully Friday the 13th isn’t an unlucky day for your wine smarties!

The (Spanish) Name Game

How Did Spain’s Rioja region get its name?

  • A.  From the Latin word Rialia which refers to small regional tributaries
  • B.  From an ancient Basque word meaning "land of rocks"
  • C.  Either A or B – no one knows for sure
  • D.  None of the above

Cheers – and good luck!





  • Alexey Onegin

    I'd say none of the above since I've heard it's name is connected with a river.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Alexey!

  • Silvinapal

    none of the above.

    it's because of the River Oja that goes by, ( Rio Oja).

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Silvinapa!

  • Steve


    Silvinapa got it right.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Steve!

  • NJ Vinoman

    I'd have to go with D as well.

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, NJ. This is gonna be a fun one when I finally reveal the answer…! :)

  • Capi

    Silvinapa is absolutly rightt.
    The name of our most popular wine region RIOJA cames from the blend of RÍO (river) + OJA = RIOJA.
    And the name of the grape from the Rioja Valley is TEMPRANILLO.


    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Capi.

  • 1WineDude

    Alright everyone, I fear I'm going to piss you all off but the answer is actually…

    C. Either A or B – no one knows for sure

    Either A or B could be correct – no one knows for sure, and ***according to Ana Fabiano's The Wine Regions Of Rioja*** there are no fewer than 22 competing theories about the origin of the region's name (A & B are thought to be the most credible of the 22). The "river" theory is possible, but according to Fabiano isn't necessarily the most credible of the various theories that explain Rioja's namesake.

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