Altos de Rioja is a boutique winery in the heart of the best wine-growing area of the Rioja Alavesa, the foothills of Sierra Cantabria at 700 metres above sea level. It was founded in 2006 with the sole aim of creating stylish, modern Rioja wines; wines with a real sense of place based on respect for traditional expertise using state of the art techniques to best showcase the special characteristics of Rioja’s unique terroir.
The wines of Altos de Rioja are produced in an area with a privileged microclimate for growing grapes. Vineyards are perched in the highest part of the appellation, between 600 and 700 metres above sea level. It’s a well-rated subzone of the Rioja Alavesa, on the slopes of the mountain range. Those mountains form a natural barrier against the winds and stormy fronts that blow in from the Cantabrian Sea to the north. Weather is characterized by dry summers where the swing in temperature from warm days to cool nights can be as great as 20°C. This microclimate sustains optimum ripening and tannin maturation, which in turn produces well-structured wines with deep colour suitable for prolonged ageing.
The team includes Jean Marc Sauboua, an international award-winning winemaker from Bordeaux, whose career began at the famous first growth Chateau Haut-Brion and Roberto San Ildefonso, who started out in the Rioja Alavesa in the early 1980s. By the late 1990s, San Ildefonso had successfully developed the trailblazing Bodegas Sobreño (D.O. Toro). Winemaker Bienvenido Muñoz comes from a long line of respected winemakers, who continues to garner critical acclaim for his work with his family’s Bodegas Muñoz (La Mancha). Altos de Rioja arose out of a wealth of experience from these talented winemakers and a single, shared passion: to make wines of great quality with a respect for traditional methods.