Who would not want to enjoy a bottle of Viña Ardanza? The award winner ‘Vina Ardanza’ comes from La Rioja Alta, Spain. In 2015, The Wall Street Journal named Vina Ardanza as one of the six wines that are a must to be included in every private cellar. The La Rioja Alta located in Rioja produces wine following traditional methods which only give prominence to the oak barrel wine fermentation.
Five investors had established the winery ‘La Rioja Alta’ in 1890. Daniel A Ardanza y Sanchez being one of them took the initiative to fortify the winery anew in 1904.
La Rioja Alta – Vina Ardanza
To date, the winery under the descendants of its founders is Guillermo de Aranzabal, who belongs to the fifth generation of its founders, holds the current Chairmanship of La Rioja Alta. The famous brands of wines – Ardanza, Arana, Alberdi – also come under its founding members. In fact, La Rioja Alta SA owns three major wineries in Spain. Together they produce about 225 lakhs of the excellent bottles of wines per year. Additionally, their production comprises of 450,000 bottles of Lagar de Cervera and 230,000 bottles of Torre de Ona as well as 170,000 bottles of Aster every year.
The Vina Ardanza vineyards
Initially, the Vina Ardanza producers did not own vineyards. They bought grapes from farmers until 1970. Since then, they purchased lands and started growing grapes on their own for their products thereby assuring the quality of their wines. Today, La Rioja Alta boasts over 554 hectares of vineyards, and Rioja has 392 hectares. Most famous vineyards of the Vina Ardanza parent company lie in Cenicero (Finca La Cuesta), Tudelilla (La Pedriza), and Rodenzo (Finca Las Cuevas). Even though they belong to one company, they produce their wines separately.
Blending of Vina Ardanza
Since 1980, La Rioja Alta began to purchase grapes for their products in spite of having enough vineyards. But their stock of buying is declining now as much as to a level of ten percent. They mostly buy Mazuelo and Graciano varieties and are of the view that buying grapes are cheaper than growing them. They also prefer blending. Blending market, blending products, and moreover, mixing their products. For example, Vina Ardanza boasts over 80 per cent Tempranillo while 20 per cent is Grenache (Garnacha).
Their other brands are also results of excellent blending. For example, Vina Arana has 95 percent Tempranillo and 5 percent Mazuelo. The Gran Reserva 904 boasts 90 percent Tempranillo and Mazuelo 10 percent. It’s 890 category has almost Tempranillo but with 3 per cent each of Mazuelo and Graciano. Likewise, every wine product from Vina Ardanza includes excellent blending that makes them internationally sought after brands.
Vina Ardanza’s new cellars
By preserving tradition as well as following the new trends, La Rioja Alta’s Vina Ardanza now has become its foremost brand. It contains Rioja Baja Garnacha – the latest evolvement of La Rioja Alta wines. Evolvement of its vines paves the way for the company to start its new Labastida cellar in 1996. Now they also use stainless steel along with wooden barrels for fermentation thus going with the new trends of technology while adhering to the traditional oak barrel ageing system as well.
Vina Ardanza and its production
Traditionally, grapes are harvested manually and put in refrigeration thus preserving their quality. After that, they are fermented in controlled temperature and sent for ageing in barrels. Then it is fermented in American oak barrels for about three years and the same procedure goes on with Garnacha. After that, they are racked and bottled under a system of strict quality control. La Rioja Alta wines including Vina Ardanza thus comes to the table with elegant pairing dishes such as grilled and roasted meats, poultry, game meats and sausages as well as with platters of excellent cheeses.