Situated along Navarra’s midsection, in a transitional belt between north and south, with an important concentration of wine-growing centered around the historical town of Olite. Main town: Tafalla.
An area of gentle relief in the north, and around the river Ega, gradually flattens out towards the south, where the landscape alternates between vineyards and cereal plantings.
Main varieties grown
Tempranillo is predominant, plus a wide range of other red varieties, notably Graciano. As for whites, this subzone has the highest concentration of Chardonnay in the region, with a small amount of Moscatel de Grano Menudo.
Ribera Alta comprises a mixture of soils, depending on elevation and substrata composition. On most slopes, soil depth and particle size vary, with layers of fine or silty loam alternating with marl and sand, except in certain areas of Cárcar, Sesma, Lerín and Falces, where vineyards sit atop shallow, loamy-clay soils with marked calcareous content. As in other subzones, vineyards are found on different levels of Quaternary alluvial terraces deposited by the Rivers Ega, Arga, Cidacos and Aragón, frequently with loamy and rocky component, which provide excellent drainage. On the highest terraces, such as Monplanet in Olite or the Saso of Santacara, limestone bedrock rises to a very shallow depth.
A transitional zone between a semi-arid south area and a dry north. Climatic transitions are very gradual, as its relief is somewhat flat. Far from the influences of the Atlantic and the Pyrenees, Ribera Alta is typically warmer than its three neighboring subzones to the north. The growing season for vineyards varies between 234 days in Olite and 259 in Mélida.
Principal winemaking municipalities
Artajona, Beire, Berbinzana, Cadreita, Caparroso, Cárcar, Carcastillo, Falces, Funes, Larraga, Lerín, Lodosa, Marcilla, Mélida, Milagro, Miranda de Arga, Murillo el Cuende, Murillo el Fruto, Olite, Peralta, Pitillas, Sansoain, Santacara, Sesma, Tafalla and Villafranca.