Several years after the D.O. Rioja will begin to identify a more specific origin of the wines, we continue to be the winery with the most singular vineyards owned. And we are sourcing some of the most special and prized wines from the cellar of these very particular vineyards.
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Juan Valdelana, a collector of singular vineyards
Behind this new project is Juan Valdelana, who has been looking for these particular lands for several years. A difficult objective because a vineyard has to have the following requirements to be considered unique:
- Minimum age of the vineyard: 35 years.
- Maximum production: 5,000 kilos per hectare for red varieties and 6,922 for white varieties.
- Vintage: Manual.
- Maximum yield: 65 %
- Owner: The vineyard must be owned or leased with an exclusive production of 10 years.
- Double qualification: The initial one, like all Rioja, and a pre-market one. You must reach the rating of ‘excellent’.
The singular vineyards of Bodegas Valdelana
Currently, the winery has eleven vineyards classified as unique: Santa Cruz de Valdelana, Senda de Las Damas, Matalobos, Tronco Negro, La Pared de los Curas, El Alguacil, Matacabras, Cerro de la Horca, La Medika, Río del Valle y Senda de la Traición. With such requirements, it is not surprising that Juan had to work hard to get them. Several are in the vicinity of Elciego, but there are also in Laguardia, Leza and Navaridas, dating most of 1920.
But almost as complex as its location is its exploitation. It’s not easy to work in this lands , so they require a completely manual work in which no finosanitary product, machine or even animal can be used.
10,000 bottles of unique wine
Beyond treasuring them, Juan had always dreamed of producing a wine from each of these lands. After several years of work, the first vintage was launched, the 2020 vintage of these unique wines in 2022. La Medika, Senda de la Traición, Senda de las Damas red and white, La Pared de los Curas, Tronco Negro and Santa Cruz de Valdelana were the seven chosen for this release.
In total, 10,000 bottles of single-vineyard wines that were practically all sold shortly after its premiere. Total pride for Juan and for the winery, even more so if we take into account that some of these wines have ended up in restaurants such as Celler de Can Roca, Arzak or Martin Berasategui.
Rioja bets on the origin of wines
It was in mid-2017 when the DOCa Rioja wanted to start identifying a more specific origin for certain wines, as in France and other countries with a great winemaking tradition. That is why the labels of DOCa Rioja will now include more specific information about the origin of the wine, making it easier for consumers to distinguish the quality of the product.
Later, in the summer of 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food recognized the condition of “singular” to 84 vineyards of the D.O. Rioja, and ten are from our winery. In October of this year, we received from the hands of Minister Luis Planas the certificate accrediting our ten unique vineyards.
Working with grapes from vineyards is to guarantee, year after year, a vintage and production of top quality wine. A quality like our consumers deserve. Because unique consumers deserve unique vineyards and wines.