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La Rioja Alta is one of the grand old Rioja houses of Haro. Founded (and still owned) by four wine growing families in 1890, this is both a bastion of traditional Rioja and a benchmark against which other wineries in the region are measured.
Long aged in bottle and American oak, and treated to regular, careful hand racking between barrels, La Rioja Alta wines are classically styled: medium bodied, slightly oxidative and full of secondary characteristics.
The new wave of talented young winemakers in Rioja may be pushing site-specific, modern wines and labelling the more traditionally styled as industrially made. At La Rioja Alta however, nothing could be further from the truth. Every step in the process is handled in-house, with the utmost care and dedication. All the wines are made from estate-owned vineyards, which have been converted to organic viticulture. All the barrels used for ageing are made by in-house coopers. And all the winemaking, blending, sorting and ageing are done with the sole aim of producing the finest possible wine.
The result is a striking reminder – despite changing times – of just how good traditional Rioja can be.