viernes, 4 de enero de 2013

Bodegas López de Heredia / Tondonia



BODEGAS LÓPEZ DE HEREDIA / TONDONIA

Bodegas López de Heredia is generally not known by its full name. It is better known as Tondonia or simply Heredia, which is what the locals in Haro and Spain call it.

This is a family business, where decisions on vine growing and winemaking have always been made by family members, from the founder, his son Rafael López de Heredia Aransáez, and his brother Julio César, to his grandson Pedro López de Heredia Ugalde and his great-grandchildren, the aforementioned Julio César, María José, and Mercedes. They are the backbone of this historic house.

Today the two sisters, María José and Mercedes, run the marketing and communication departments of the company, they are also responsible for daily management and even production, though these tasks are shared with their brother, Julio César, and their father, Pedro, who, at well over 80 years old, is still at work every day of the year.

Tondonia is held by many wine lovers all over the world, as they are among the very few producers who will neither change the old-fashioned style of their wines. For them, tradition is a life style, their artisan winemaking process has been passed on from generation to generation. They continue to uphold after more than 136 years of history, their patience in the winemaking process, and the ageing of their wines.

The bodega is like a museum, full old cellars and subterranean passages full of dust covered bottles. Visiting the bodega is like travelling back in time.


THE HISTORY

It all started in the middle of the nineteenth century when French negociants visited the Rioja region to find alternative sources of quality grapes to transform into wine, since the phylloxera epidemic had decimated their vineyards.  Their founder, Don Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta, a knowledgeable and enthusiastic student in the art of wine making, followed closely in their footsteps.

Don Rafael fell in love with the region and especially the area around Haro, the mythical capital of the Rioja Alta region. He observed that there was a magical combination of soil and climate that would offer the perfect environment for producing wine that would eventually become world famous. Around 1877 he began the design and construction of the complex that is today known as the López de Heredia bodega (winery), the oldest in Haro and one of the first three houses in the Rioja region.

For over a century their emotions have been rooted in their love and passion for this land and its harvest. They cherish their heritage, and this combination of love and the rigorous quality standards they apply, they have become a trademark in the classical style of winemaking.


THE WINERY AND ITS BUILDINGS

When D. Rafael López de Heredia y Landeta began building the bodega, little did he realise that his masterpiece would one day be acknowledged as an example to the rest of the industry of the most perfect combination of buildings and vineyards. Like many medieval masterpieces, still incomplete, the buildings stand below and above ground called the "Cathedral of wine".

Today the estate covers an area of 53,076 square metres including 19,718 square metres of buildings, 3,433, 41 square metres of which are underground cellars up to 200 metres long and descending to an overall depth of 15 metres.  12,900 Bordeaux oak barrels are stored in the heart of a mountain within the cellars.

In addition, the bodega is home to a large family of 72 oak vats from areas such as Cantabria, Bosnia, Allier and America.  Their capacity ranges from 60 hectolitres, the baby, up to the largest which holds some 640 hectolitres. Oak casks play a pivotal role in the fermentation of our wines as we use completely natural and traditional methods of wine making.

As with cathedrals in the past, work on building the winery is never-ending.  Every successive member of the family has taken on the task of completing an aspect of the founder's original vision. These plans, combined with a continuing family commitment, have resulted in each generation leaving its mark on the complex.

Each part of the cellars, built and added onto over a period of a hundred years, has been given a name. These names, some of which cannot be translated, are evocative of the past and their origin lies in local legends and our old Rioja dialect: "La Bodega Vieja" (The Old Cellar), "La Bodega Nueva" (The New Cellar), "La Bisiesta", "La Dolorosa", "La Bodega de Reservas", "El Caladillo", "El Frontón" (The Pelota Court), "El Cementerio" and "El Calado".  These underground cellars with their rich and golden aroma of old oak leave the visitor with a lasting impression of romance and mystery.


THE VINEYARD AND WINEMAKING

For the family members wines are made, first and foremost, in the vineyard, that’s why all the great wines here are named after the vineyards from which they come: Viña Tondonia, Viña Bosconia, Vina Zaconia, etc.

The great estate known as Viña Tondonia, was bought by Don Rafael and planted between 1913 and 1914, whose 100ha (250 acres) are one of the principal assets of the company. The other major vineyards were also bought and named by the founder in order to strengthen the corporate identity: Viña Bosconia 15ha (37 acres) in El Bosque, Viña Cubillo 24ha (6o acres) in Cubillas, and Viña Zaconia (24ha, after Zaco, where it is located, and where today Viña Gravonia comes from. They are all around Haro, some of them very close to the cellar building, on the margin of the River Ebro, some 460m (1,510ft) above sea level. The varieties grown are the classic Rioja range: Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Mazuela, Viura, and Malvasia.

For Heredia, the ultimate goal is to express the true character of each terroir consistently year after year, “one vineyard, one wine" was the philosophy propounded by Rafael López de Heredia, and it still pertains today. This naturally calls for more interventionist winemaking, since each years wines are not allowed to express any vintage variation. Rather, Viña Tondonia Reserva is forced to behave like Viña Tondonia Reserva. Viña Cubillo must equally retain its identity, and so on. In fact, until 1981 none of these wines was labelled according to the vintage year but instead with reference to the number of years that had elapsed since; thus a Viña Bosconia 50 Año bottled in 1977 was really a Viña Bosconia Reserva 1972.

They correct vintage irregularities in a natural way, by blending in some wine from the same vineyard with a different colour, acidity, or alcohol level. They use different vintages, within the legal limits (15 %), in order always to release wines of consistent quality and to maintain their house style. They believe that it would not be fair to single out any specific vintage above the others, because the guiding philosophy is to produce single-vineyard, brand-recognizable wines. It is not the vintage but the label that matters: Cubillo, Tondonia, Bosconia.

On the other hand, there are the grandes reservas (with the exception of the Rosado), which are all single vintage wines by nature, and they have the character of the year they were born. These grandes reservas are in the lists of historic wines of the house.


THE WINES

Viña Cubillo Crianza 2005
- Tasting Notes: Colour: Clear, bright ruby. Nose: Fresh and slight aroma to licorice with consistent texture and persistent aroma. Taste: Fresh and persistent.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (65%), Garnacho (25%), Mazuelo and Graciano.
- Ageing period in barrels: 3 years, being racked twice per year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. and 37,5 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 13% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 gr/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Perfect with all meat dishes, tapas and charcutery.
- Storage Tempertaure: Ready to drink now, it can be stored a few more years in conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 64,5º to 68ºF (18 - 20ºC) always depending on mood and place.
- Quantity made: 85,000 bottles.

Viña Gravonia Crianza 2003 (White Wine)
- Tasting notes: Colour: Pale gold. Nose: Fresh and almost sweet. Complex and developed. Bouquet with aromas of third generation. Taste: Fruity, complex, developed and fine.
- Grape Varieties: Viura (100%).
- Ageing period in barrels: 4 years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12,5% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 5 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Perfect with all kind of fish, no matter the way cooked. Grilled seafood. Well seasoned white meat. Also very nice with pasta. See below.
- Storage Tempertaure: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 57º to 60ºF (14º to 16ºC) depending of mood and place.
- Quantity made: 25,000 bottles.

Viña Bosconia Red Reserva 2003
- Tasting notes: This wine has evolved perfectly showing a deep ruby colour with shades of orange. Its nose is persistent, full bodied and showing a lot of mature fruit, being dominated by the Tempranillo grape. Its taste is round, smooth, fresh, full of body and persistent.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (80%), Garnacho (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano, the remainder, all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period in barrels: 5 years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12.5% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6.5 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Perfect with roasted and highly flavoured meats, lamb and game.
- Storage Tempertaure: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 64,5º to 68ºF (18 - 20ºC) always depending on mood and place.
- Quantity made: 42,000 bottles.


Viña Bosconia Gran Reserva 1995
- Tasting notes: Red Ruby Colour with a brick red rim. Its nose is persistent, with complex tertiary aromas. In the mouth, it is round, smooth, elegant and with a very long finish.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (80%), Garnacho (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano (the remainder), exclusively from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period: Barrel: 10 years, with two yearly rackings made by hand. Bottle: Rest. Unfiltered and fined with fresh egg whites before being bottled exclusively in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very dry.
- Gastronomy: Perfect with roasted meats, including lamb and pork, as well as with chocolate.
- Ageing potential: Over 10 years in constant temperature (14ºC) and humidity (75-80%) conditions.
- Serving temperature: 18º to 20º C depending on mood and place.
- Quantity made: 8,500 bottles of 75 cl.

Viña Tondonia Red Reserva 2001
- Tasting note: Colour:Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber. Nose: Light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Taste: Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and good balance.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Graciano and Mazuelo (10%), all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period in barrels: 6 years, racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 and 37.5 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12,5% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Goes well with all meat dishes however prepared. A perfect partner to a Leg of New Season Welsh Lamb stuffed with wild garlic, rosemary and anchovies.
- Storage Temperature: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 64,5º to 68ºF (18º / 20ºC) always depending on mood and place.
- Quantity made: 290,000 bottles.

Viña Tondonia Red Gran Reserva 1994
- Tasting Notes: Colour: Vibrant red leading slightly towards amber. Nose: Light fresh texture with notes of vanilla and dried berry aromas. Taste: Rich, very dry, smooth, developed. Firm tannins and balance.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (75%), Garnacho (15%), Mazuelo and Graciano (10%), all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period in barrels: 9 years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 and 37.5 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Goes well with all meat dishes irrespective of their preparation.
- Conservation period: Ready to drink now, it can be stored a few more years in conditions of constant temperature (14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving temperature: 18º to 20º C depending on the circumstances.
- Quantity made: 18,000 bottles.

Viña Tondonia White Reserva 1996
- Tasting notes: Colour: Natural gold, developed. Nose: Fresh, complex and developed. Taste: Smooth, round, fine and developed.
- Grape Varieties: Viura (90%), Malvasía (10%), all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period in barrels: 6 years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12.5% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: Perfect with all kinds of fish, irrespective of their preparation; grilled seafood, well-seasoned white meat.
- Storage Tempertaure: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 57º to 61º F (14º-16º C) depending of mood and place.
- Quantity made: 20,000 bottles.


Viña Tondonia White Gran Reserva 1991
- Tasting: Wine developed and very balanced. Colour: Gold evolved. Nose: Persistent, perfumed and complex. Taste: Round, smooth, full of persistent aromas.
- Grape Varieties: Viura (90%) and Malvasía (10%), all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period: Barrel: 10 years, being racked twice per year and fined with fresh egg whites. Bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6.5 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: All kinds of fish either boiled or grilled, preferably with sauce. All types of rice, including risotto-style. All different kinds of egg dishes. White meats such as chicken, turkey and pork. All pastas and cheeses (see below).
- Storage Tempertaure: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 57º to 61º F (14º-16º C) depending of mood and place.
- Quantity made: 15,000 bottles.
- Combines with dishes such as: All types of fish, ideally firm-fleshed: Grilled: sea-bass, sea bream, turbot, mackerel, underside of tuna, monkfish and hake neck cuts. In sauce: cod "al pil-pil" (poached in olive oil), cod "a la riojana" (with peppers and tomato), cod or hake cheeks, hake in parsley sauce, tuna with tomato, tuna with onions, monkfish in "sauce americaine" and so on.
Rice dishes: Sticky, risotto-type rices in seafood stock.
Fish stews:  “Marmitako” potato and shellfish stew with lobster; potato and cod or monk fish...
Eggs: A wide variety of scrambled eggs: with oyster mushrooms, prawns, garlic shoots, wild mushrooms and foie. Spanish omelette, or plain fried eggs.
White meats: Roast or marinated chicken, turkey, duck, rabbit...
Pasta: Sautéed with oyster mushrooms or seafood.

Viña Tondonia Rosé Gran Reserva 2000
- Tasting notes: Colour: Onion skin, velvety, hints at becoming tawny. Nose: Fresh and persistent.Taste:Smooth and fresh with body and complexity due to barrel ageing.
- Grape Varieties: Tempranillo (30%), Garnacho (60%) and Viura (10%) all from our own vineyards.
- Ageing period in barrels: 4 and a half years, being racked twice a year and fined with fresh egg whites.
- Ageing period in bottle: Rest, unfiltered, bottled in 75 cl. bottles.
- Alcohol Volume: 12.5% Vol.
- Total Acidity: 6 g/l.
- Residual Sugar: Very Dry.
- Gastronomy: This versatile wine will complement any dish, especially in the summer, due to its freshness. It goes very well with spicy and hot food; perfect with cold meats and Spanish sausages.  Many gastronomes have commented that it combines very well with Indian, Mexican and Chinese-style food.
- Storage Tempertaure: 10 years in perfect conditions of constant temperature (57ºF / 14ºC) and humidity (75-80%).
- Serving Temperature: 57º to 60ºF (14º to 16ºC) depending of mood and place. In very hot years chilled to 46,5ºF / 8ºC.
- Quantity made: 25,000 bottles.

Bodegas Lopez de Heredia
Avda. Vizcaya, 3. 26200 Haro (La Rioja).
Tel. 941.31.02.44 – 941.31.01.27. Fax. 941.31.07.88
www.lopezdeheredia.com - bodega@lopezdeheredia.com

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