What is the D.O.Ca?

Wines from Rioja achieve the highest recognition of quality in all of Spain, the D.O.Ca—or Denominación de Origen Calificada. This certification of consistency and quality comes from Spain’s regulatory board and ensures each bottle achieves the exacting standard. One of Spain’s regulatory classification systems, created in the early 1990s, and the highest given to a wine region. Rioja and Prior at are the only two Spanish wine regions to have earned the D.O.Ca. Visit the D.O.Ca site here, and YouTube here.



The category Wines with Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) is reserved for those wines that have reached high levels of quality over a long period of time.

The first denomination to achieve this was Rioja, in April 1991.


The necessary requirements to achieve this status include:

  • 1 that at least 10 years have passed since recognition as DO,
  • 2 that all covered products are marketed bottled from warehouses located in the production area or that they follow an adequate qualitative system from their control body.


REGULATIONDESIGNATION OF ORIGIN (DO) is the name of a region, county, town, or specific place that has been administratively recognized to designate wines that meet the following conditions:

  • have been made in the region, district, town, or place determined with grapes from them;
  • enjoy high prestige in commercial traffic due to its origin;
  • whose quality and characteristics are fundamentally or exclusively due to the geographical environment that includes natural and human factors.
  • In addition, at least five years must have elapsed since its recognition as a quality wine with a geographical indication


QUALIFIED DENOMINATION OF ORIGIN (DOCa): must meet, in addition to the previous requirements for appellations of origin, the following:

  • At least ten years have elapsed since its recognition as a Denomination of Origin.
  • All bottled wine is marketed from registered wineries located in the defined geographical area.
  • Have a control system from production to marketing regarding quality and quantity, which includes a physical-chemical and organoleptic control by homogeneous batches of limited volume.
  • It is forbidden to coexist in the same winery with wines without the right to D.O.Ca, except for qualified wines located in its territory.
  • It must have a cartographic delimitation, by municipalities, of the land suitable for producing wines with the right to D.O.Ca.