Sheltered by the Sierra de Cantabria mountains to the north and the Sierra de la Demanda mountains to the south, the Rioja region of Spain has a microclimate that provides exceptional conditions for vines. But the Finca Valpiedra estate, part of the Spanish wine-making dynasty Familia Bujanda, has an additional advantage – its terraces slope down to the river Ebro, giving rise to a truly unique terroir.
“The soil where our vines grow is rocky, whereas most of the soil in Rioja is clay-based,” explains Diego Martinez, the vineyard’s Commercial Director. “The stones that are in the soil keep the warmth and light of the sun around the vines. They also help stop the vines from dehydrating by preventing the water from evaporating during the warm days of summer. This means that the grapes’ ripening cycle can be completed, resulting in beautifully structured and elegant wines.”
The vineyard had been in the family for years, with its grapes used in other Familia Bujanda wines. But, in 1994, the family decided that the grapes of Finca Valpiedra had the quality to go it alone.
“We were pioneers in Rioja – producing a single wine from a single vineyard,” says Diego. “Most of the time, producers have to blend grapes from different vineyards. But Finca Valpiedra is a very special site where all of our grapes are grown on the same plot of land. This means the wines we make here truly represent the terroir. The grape varieties are ideal for this particular climate, this particular altitude, this particular soil.”
Finca Valpiedra is the only winery in Rioja associated with the Grandes Pagos de España (Grands Crus of Spain), an exclusive group of single vineyard wineries that maintain the authentic terroirs of the country. Some of the estate’s vines are more than 100 years old. “The quality of the wine we produce starts with the vines,” explains Diego. “We do a lot of work in the vineyard so that we have less work to do in the winery. The results are very special wines with soul and character.”