The main red wine grape variety grown in the Rioja appellation with 61% of the area under cultivation and the regions from which it originates. It is our most widely used grape and the one that gives the best results. It has thick skin and adapts well to growing at high altitudes and in cool conditions which give it elegance and acidity, but also at lower levels where it is warmer, providing high sugar levels and an intense colour. The compact clusters form a kind of cylinder shape. The fruits are spherical, purplish-black skins with colourless pup. Ideal for using in the coupage, where it usually forms the largest proportion by percentage, although it is also excellent as a single variety wine. Its low acidity and sugar can be compensated by blending it with garnacha and mazuelo grapes. This variety is perfectly suited to making young wines and also crianza wines aged in oak casks. Its must has great balance between sugar and colour. The acidity is where you have to be careful, as sometimes it can be lacking.
Low yielding and not very common. Autochthonous to Rioja. The vine produces a low number of berries, delicately aromatic, which are normally harvested towards the end of October. Its fruits are small and round. It produces wines with an intense red colour, high acidity, a strong aroma and great potential for ageing well. Its ability to improve during ageing has made it highly suitable for making wines for long cellaring. Its particular, pleasant aromas give the wines which contain this variety a great finesse.
Garnacharipens quite a lot later than Tempranillo,as it is stronger and has a higher yield. It resists drought and cold very well, but is sensitive to pests and disease. Its clusters are medium in size with closely packed fruit. The berries are medium-sized, oval in shape and a dark red, almost purple colour. Garnacha produces balanced wines with little development of colour, full body and low acidity but high alcohol content (between 15ºand16º),making it ideal for blending, normally with tempranilloor with a minor role in more extensivecoupages. It gives primary aromas of jammy fruit and spices and lots of meatiness on the palate.
While around the world it is the most grown variety, in Rioja it is a minority grape. Historically, it has gradually lost importance in the appellation in favour of Tempranillo. Invinification, it is characterised by its high colour intensity and high sugar concentration. So in the blends it provides colour, alcohol and acidity. It has a high yield but is sensitive to diseases and to humidity. It shoots late so is safe from late spring frosts. Large, compact clusters. The berries are medium-sized, round and blueish-black in colour, with a high quantity of tannins which make it suitable for ageing. It provides colour intensity, some floral aromas, silkiness and a soft mouth-feel.
The most cultivated white wine variety in the D.O.Ca Rioja. Now and in the past, when it was much more important, when more varieties of white wine were made in Rioja. Today it is the basis of our white wines. High yielding, but very prone to botrytis, although resistant to frosts. Large, compact clusters and the berries are also large, with fine skins and a golden-yellow colour. It gives wines with a lot of colour and body, low average alcoholic strength. Viura produces delicate, aromatic wines with a pale straw-yellow colour and greenish hues. Slightly acidic, suitable for early drinking and also for fermenting in the cask.
Recently authorised by the Board of the D.O.Ca,we are just beginning to exploit its potential. The vines resist the cold and shooting is early, producing medium-sized, cylindrically-shaped clusters. The fruits are average in size, round in shape and golden-yellow in colour. It produces elegant, dry, acidic wines.
It gives a greenish-yellow colour, even slightly green in hue with golden glints.
Grassy primary aromas, pineapple, mango,pink grapefruit, honey… and on the palate plenty of sharp acidity which highlights the powerfully aromatic aftertaste.
Location of the vineyards
The vines are almost entirely located in the Rioja Alavesa sub zone, in the shadow of the Sierra de Cantabria which protects them from the rigours of the storms from the north. They are situated in the villages of Leza, Elvillar, Páganos, Navaridas, Elciego and, above all, Laguardia, with vines of an average age of 30years. The altitude varies from 500 up to 650 metres above sea level. The higher plantations are seeking quality rather than quantity, with much more distinctive features which allow us to make more personal wines.