Vinification and Aging



White Wine

The entire grape cluster is transferred directly to tank, whereupon, the stems are removed and the grapes are then pressed to obtain must, which is then moved to fermentation tanks.

Rosé Wine

The grapes are destemmed, crushed, and then sent to draining tanks where they are left to macerate for a short period of time. They are then pressed and left alone for a day for all suspended grape particles to settle. The juice is then fermented and the crystalline must is then transferred to fermentation tanks.

Red Wine

Red wine is made using two different methods in La Rioja. The most common method involves removing the grape stems from the grapes in a destemmer prior to fermentation. This method is most appropriate for wines that will be aged in French or American oak. The other common method in Rioja, primarily used for production of table wine, is called carbonic maceration, in which grapes are fermented together whole cluster in a controlled CO2 rich environment. Wines made using this method tend to be softer, smoother, less tannic and less complex with a very intense, deep purple color, and are best drunk young.

In both methods, the grape must is pumped-over during fermentation in order to ensure good color extraction and to maintain a consistent temperature in the tank. Following fermentation, the wine is decanted in order to separate solid matter from liquid. The wine is then transferred to storage tanks and reviewed by the Consejo Regulador of Rioja for its overall quality. The Control Board carries out detailed laboratory tests to determine whether the wine is worthy of bearing the Rioja name and stamp of approval. The wines are then aged in 225 liter oak casks, followed by an additional mandatory period of aging in bottle. Crianzas represent the first step of the decreed aged wines in Rioja, and are aged 12 months in barrel and 12 months in bottle prior to release. Reservas spend at minimum 12 months in barrel and 24 in bottle, and Gran Reservas are aged at minimum 24 months in barrel and 36 months in bottle.