La Rioja Alta
La Rioja Alta is one of the foremost estates in the Rioja region, formed in 1890 by five Riojan and Basque families. It is particularly known for its classically-styled, spicy Gran Reserva reds that can age gracefully for many decades. The winery shares its name with the Rioja Alta (Upper Rioja) subregion in which many of its operations are based.
The estate consists of around 400 hectares (1000 acres) of vineyards around Rioja, planted predominantly to Tempranillo, but with a wealth of other varieties including Graciano, Garnacha and Mazuelo. La Rioja Alta's original winery is in Haro, but there is a second site in Labastida in Rioja Alavesa that was built in 1996. The Haro winery includes a cooperage, where barrels are made from American oak.
La Rioja Alta's top wine is the Gran Reserva 890. It is made from selected clusters and is aged for around six years in first-use barrels. The Gran Reserva 904, the second wine, is aged for four years in oak and has a similar proportion of Tempranillo than the 890 – around 90 percent. La Rioja Alta also makes a range of wines at Reserva level, and the Viña Ardanza, which has a higher proportion of Garnacha. Two other wines, the Viña Arana and the Viña Alberdi, complete the range.
The Sociedad Vinícola de La Rioja Alta was founded in 1890, and in 1904, the Ardanza winery joined La Rioja Alta. The estate's two top wines are named for these dates. Grupo La Rioja Alta also owns the Torre de Oña estate in the Alavesa subregion of Rioja, Áster in Ribera del Duero, and Lagar de Cervera in the Rias Baixas region of Galicia.