Fincas de Landaluce is a small DOCa Rioja Alavesa family estate located close to Laguardia at the foot of the ash-coloured Cantabrian mountains, on the road to La Hoya in an area known as Pinuelas. Two geographical features determine the quality of the wine produced in Rioja Alavesa. Firstly, its vineyards lie at high altitudes (up to 1200m) resulting in cooler temperatures that help the grapes to acquire and retain moderate acid levels and good colour. Secondly, the soil on the slopes and terraces where the vines grow is rich in chalk clay and limestone, resulting in wines that are characterful and rich in extract. Annual rainfall is around 500mm on average, which forces the roots to burrow deep into the soil in search of water. Recommended by top sommelier Gerard Basset, Landaluce produces very balanced wines which are very agreable to the palate. Founded in 2000 Goyo Landaluce chose to steer away from mass volume Rioja and focus his attention on low yield, very old vines.
Fincas de Landaluce own 30 acres of meticulously maintained vines, mainly Tempranillo from clay-chalk soils from vineyards at San Gregorio, Carravaleseca, San Cristóbal and La Gloria which hug the shadows of the Cantabrian mountains to the north. The mountains help create a micro-climate for the Rioja Alavesa sub-zone, offering shelter from the Atlantic weather and wind, but still the rainfall here is almost double that of Rioja Baja. 15 hectares of this area are over 40 years old with some vines well over 80 years old, allowing for low yields. The remaining 15 hectares are made up of vineyards of an average age of between 20 and 40 years old. The vines are grown in bush form with three irregular branches which come out of the soil and can reach as much as 1.8 metres in height. When one branch breaks because of its age or its instability, it is replaced by a new shoot from the base. This allows the clusters to remain ventilated without touching one another and keeps the quality at its very best. Year after year, the grapes are gathered by the same group of 10 people. They also produce a generic back label for Elle de Landaluce and Capricho de Landaluce without the traditional Crianza, Reserva stamp, meaning that each type matches a level of individual quality rather than a typology established by DOCa Rioja.
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