Rioja can quite happily be called the heart of Spain's wine industry as it is producing some of the most classic wines in the country and has been doing it for quite some time now. The oldest vines are thought to date back to 2BC. Modern Rioja (Post 1850s) was actually created by French winemakers who were fleeing from the phylloxera louse that ate up their vineyards in Bordeaux, and came to Rioja for its perfect wine-growing climate in hopes to find the 'next Bordeaux'. The red wines are most famous and are made predominantly from Tempranillo with a help from Garnacha (Grenache). Generally speaking the reds are fruit-forward with lots of flavour coming from the usage of oak. Traditionally the winemakers used American oak which gave the wines those classic caramel and dried coconut flavours, though in recent years many are choosing to use French oak which gives the wines more herb and spice flavours.