viñedo - variedades
MazueloGracianoGarnachaViuraGarnacha BlancaMalvasiaTempranillo
(Click on photos to expand)
The traditional red wine varieties in La Rioja are the Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo.
These varieties, combined with our climate, the soil and our expert wine growing practices, give Rioja its special character, the conditions that make it unique and inimitable.
As in any other region of the Old World, tradition, derived from a constant and intimate contact with nature, has defined the varieties which best suit this land, and these are of course the ones we are using.

These varieties, combined with our climate, the soil and our expert wine growing practices, give Rioja its special character, the conditions that make Rioja wine unique and inimitable

The traditional red wine varieties in Rioja and, therefore, those authorised by the Wine Regulatory Board, are Tempranillo, Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo.

- Tempranillo, like the famous bandit from Cordoba, develops early. Its name means "the early one" and it is the first red grape variety to ripen. Tempranillo is highly balanced and provides structure, acidity and the flavours of delicious red berries. The aromas of cherries, strawberries, liquorice and orange peel are characteristically present in the Rioja Tempranillo. This grape variety accounts for almost 80% of the vineyard surface area.

- Graciano, the variety that gives the wine its Grace. Traditionally a coupage or blending grape, providing acidity, structure, intense colour and notes of pepper and black berries. As a result of its low yield and poor resistance to disease, this grape variety is not widely used by vine growers, and accounts for the smallest surface area in vineyards. In 2007 it accounted for some 900 hectares, that is 1.43% of the total surface area. For this reason, we ourselves are planting it and it is destined to take on greater importance in our wines in the future.

- Garnacha, the most widely grown Spanish variety in the world, adapts well to the warm, sunny climate of the Ebro valley, where it is more widespread in Rioja Baja. Although it has perhaps a shorter life than other grape varieties, it provides body, fruit (strawberries and raspberries) and alcohol content. It is also the base wine for many rosé wines, such as ours, which is generally a blend of 50% Garnacha.

- Mazuelo (also called Mazuela, Cariñena or Carignan) is only grown in a small area. Occupying scarcely 1680 hectares, it is the third most important red grape variety as far as occupied surface area is concerned, accounting for 2.64% of vineyards, although it is showing a downward trend, being quite sensitive to pests. It provides colour, abundant tannins and sugars.

In addition to the above mentioned grape varieties, there are some other varieties that are now experiencing a revival, such as the Maturana, and other varieties that are being used on an experimental basis, and can also be found in the vineyards of La Rioja.

The white varieties are gradually declining in importance in the Riojan vineyards . At the end of the 17th C, more white then red was produced whilst, looking at a nearer date, such as 1983, it can be seen that white grapes were grown on 7461 hectares, accounting for 20% of the total surface area and, in 2007, they were only grown on 4200 hectares, just 6.64% of the total. There are three traditional varieties in La Rioja: Viura, Garnacha Blanca and Malvasía, to which five more have now been added. Two of which are from La Rioja (Tempranillo Blanco and Maturana Blanca) and a further three are of recognised international prestige (Verdejo, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc).

It is still too early to feel the influence of these new white grape varieties, however they will undoubtedly make it possible to adapt the Rioja wine range to suit new consumer trends.

In our case the Viura (also known as the Macabeo and, therefore, the backbone of the bubbly Spanish Cavas) plays a major role in our only white wine.

Why Viura? Well, it is a refreshing variety, with intense aromas, citrus, floral and green apple notes, balanced, and offers good acidity in the mouth. It has be shown to age well in the barrel, although we have gone for a fresh, fruity style, without the weight of the wood, which can sometimes be overwhelming.
Google Maps
Camino Viejo de Logroño, 26 - 01320 Oyón (Álava) España
Tfno. +34 945 622 216 - Fax. +34 945 622 315
Wine in Moderation
Grupo Barón de Ley