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La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta is one of Rioja's historic wineries, creator of such emblematic brands as Viña Ardanza, Viña Arana, Viña Alberdi, Gran Reserva 890 and Gran Reserva 904. All its wines...

Year founded1890
EnologistJulio Sáenz
Own vineyards:360 / ha
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Wine from La Rioja Alta

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La Rioja Alta

La Rioja Alta is one of Rioja's historic wineries, creator of such emblematic brands as Viña Ardanza, Viña Arana, Viña Alberdi, Gran Reserva 890 and Gran Reserva 904. All its wines are excellent and clearly exemplify what it means to be a great classic Rioja today, in the present.

Their wines are elegant, complex and sophisticated like those of yesteryear, but with more body, colour and robustness, wines adapted to today's gastronomic demands. In short, a great classic of 21st-century Rioja wine.

The winery

Don Alfredo Ardanza, one of the founders of La Rioja Alta and also the owner of Bodega Ardanza, proposed the merger of the two companies in 1904. In commemoration of this event, the Reserva 1904 was produced, the predecessor of the current Gran Reserva 904.

In 1941, the winery was officially renamed La Rioja Alta S.A. and, the following year, the Viña Ardanza brand was registered, the most popular brand of the Haro-based company.

In 1974, Viña Arana arrived, the brand that would replace the classic Sexto Año; in 1978, the same happened with Viña Alberdi and the previously called Tercer Año.

In 1996, La Rioja Alta built a new winery, equipped with the most advanced technology, in Labastida. 

 

 

 

In 1890, five families from La Rioja and the Basque Country founded the Sociedad Vinícola de La Rioja Alta in the Barrio de la Estación in Haro. Its first president was Doña Saturnina García Cid and the Reserva 1890 (predecessor of the current Gran Reserva 890), the first wine produced.

Don Alfredo Ardanza, one of the founders of La Rioja Alta and also the owner of Bodega Ardanza, proposed the merger of the two companies in 1904. In commemoration of this event, the Reserva 1904 was produced, the predecessor of the current Gran Reserva 904.

In 1941, the winery was officially renamed La Rioja Alta S.A. and, the following year, the Viña Ardanza brand was registered, the most popular brand of the Haro-based company.

In 1974, Viña Arana arrived, the brand that would replace the classic Sexto Año; in 1978, the same happened with Viña Alberdi and the previously called Tercer Año.

In 1996, La Rioja Alta built a new winery, equipped with the most advanced technology, in Labastida. 

Vineyards

In La Rioja Alta it is understood that the highest quality can only be obtained from the best grapes, which is why the yield of the vines is limited to 5,000 kg/ha. The grapes are supervised with exhaustive technological control from the beginning of the vegetative cycle until they are harvested.
16 hectares are already cultivated in a totally organic way. In keeping with its respect for the environment, the company has a large park of photovoltaic and thermal panels that avoid the emission of enormous quantities of CO2 every year. In addition to investing in clean energy, treatments in the vineyard are limited, water is reused and responsibly managed corks are used.

As if that was not enough, La Rioja Alta has set up several shelters for allied microfauna (ladybirds, earwigs, etc.), which favours the natural control of other animals harmful to the vine, such as mites, aphids and mealybugs.

Winemaking

Oak is fundamental in the ageing of La Rioja Alta wines. That is why they make their own barrels (30,000 a year) in a completely artisanal way in the cooperage with the century-old facilities in Haro. The wood, brought from the United States, is dried in the open air for two years.

Every 6 months, the wines are racked from all the barrels as in the olden days, by candlelight. This process favours the correct evolution of the wine, cleansing it of sediment, as well as allowing each barrel to be checked individually.

After the time spent in wood, the ageing process is transferred to the bottle racks, where the wines are finally refined. 

The wines

The Gran Reservas

The Gran Reserva 890 is the jewel in the crown, a wine made with grapes from the oldest vineyards. Six years of ageing in barrels explain its iodine colour on the rim of the glass and its aroma of Rioja classicism.

Gran Reserva 904 is a wine for great occasions. Tempranillo with a small percentage of graciano, aged in American oak for 4 years. The complexity of ripe fruit and spices.

Viña Arana Gran Reserva is freshness, intensity, sophistication and ageing potential. 3 years in oak perfumes it with vanilla, coffee and caramel.

The Reserva

Viña Ardanza combines Tempranillo with about 25% of Garnacha from Eastern Rioja. Red fruit compote and sweet spices dress a fresh body with round tannins.

The Crianza

The Viña Alberdi is 100% tempranillo from vineyards at altitude and clay-limestone soils. Its 2 years of ageing in barrels explains its perfect balance between fruit and wood.

The company / The group

In 1988, the La Rioja Alta group acquired the Lagar de Cervera winery in Pontevedra, Galicia. In 1990, coinciding with the anniversary of the mother winery, the group began its venture in Ribera del Duero, planting the first vines of the Áster winery. In 1995, the group took over the Torre de Oña winery in Rioja Alavesa.