The mountains surrounding Rioja affect the wind and rainfall patterns and help to keep summer temperatures moderate. They also encourage the critical night-time temperature drops that preserve acidity in the ripening grapes. Thanks to the mountains, Rioja's footprint resembles an inverted V, with the widest part facing the Mediterranean. As a result, Rioja's vineyards are affected by three distinct climate zones: some vineyards are subject to cool, moist weather from the Atlantic; others, protected by the mountains, experience a more temperate Continental climate; and still others bask in Mediterranean warmth. For more information about this series, please visit www.ciaprochef.com/rioja.