Probably, the world’s least-known classic region for fine white wines is Rioja. But this is not due to the quality of the wines themselves. Rather, it’s simply because fine Spanish wines were, unlike their French or Italian equivalents, rarely seen abroad for most of the 20th century due to the country’s politics.
These are wines that have a distinctive character. With a bit of practice, it’s not difficult to spot a good white Rioja in a blind tasting: they can be nothing else. In today’s standardised world, uniqueness is a jewel.