The western parts of Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa
By Tom Perry
This Guide was last updated on 12 February 2010
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Address: Avenida de Vizcaya 3,
Tel: 941 31 01 27 Fax: 941 31 07 88
Geo-coordinates: Latitude: 42:35:6N (42.58492) Longitude: 2:50:50W (-2.84735)
A visit to López de Heredia is like stepping into a time-machine and being transported to a winery in the mid-19th century. The company is run by the great-grandchildren of the founder, who faithfully follow the rules written over a century ago. In spite of the advent of ‘modern Rioja’, López de Heredia remains one of the few producers making the wines that captivated consumers in the UK in the 1970s. Underground ageing cellars excavated by hand, wooden fermentation vats, and lots of cobwebs can be found side-by-side with an avant-garde tasting room in the shape of a wine decanter, designed by the Iraqi-born architect Zaha Hadid. The whole range is an excellent example of ‘traditional’ Rioja, aged for years in used barrels with a soft, silky elegance unmatched in the region. Especially recommended is Viña Tondonia white. If you are lucky, María José López de Heredia, the bubbly young managing director, will show you the winery herself.
Useful information: Visits by appointment from Monday to Saturday, including a tasting of Viña Tondonia Reserva white and red. The visit is free. English spoken.
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