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OUR VINEYARDS

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Old vine vineyards are an important part of a wine region's heritage.  For generations, the Mendieta Osaba family has been growing grapes in Rioja Alavesa, specializing in small production wines, particularly Tempranillo from old vines.  Most of our vines are at least 30 years old and some are over 70 years old.  We believe that making high-quality, small lot vineyard-based wines from old Rioja Alavesa vines is an advantage that is undeniable.

However, from the preparation of the soils using natural fertilizers and organic principles to the planting of clean plant materials well-suited to the land, to the meticulous care required each and every growing season, achieving healthy, old vine vineyards is no easy task.  Yet, with our commitment to sustainability and preserving vineyard heritage, experience and passion is conveyed in our care for the vines, resulting in wines that convey the distinctive sense of place arising from the harmonious balance of the people with the land. For quality-minded winemakers like Mendi, the uniquely complex, characterful wines derived from old vine vineyards are ample proof of their importance. 

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TERROIR-DRIVEN WINES!

The age of vineyard is important to us but it's not the most important factor.  It's the SOIL!  From the beginning, Mendieta Osaba Wines' focus has been on the terroirs of the family's own vineyards.  In fact, in 2016, Juantxu Mendieta ("Mendi") moved to a single estate vineyard concept, making wines that are true to him, true to the soil.

Working just under 15 hectares (about 37 acres) of family vineyards located at the foothills at the eastern end of the Sierra Cantabria mountains, Mendi learned that the soil is key to making top quality wines.  One can have the right climate, the perfect techniques, the most flavorable varietals, very old vines, etc. but if you don't have the proper soil, then forget about it.         

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Mend's vineyards are located in Rioja Alavesa, a privileged region for quality grape growingThese vineyards are characterized by steeply sloped landscape and distinctive chalk.  This type of soil retains precipitation and minerals, basically saving the vines in dry times.  It also helps the vines stay cooler during warmer times, imparting flavors intuitive to clay itself:  thick, round and generous.  The end result are muscular wines with high extract and color, a true delight! 

Vasconegro Single Estate Vineyard

 

VASCOMENDI'S

VIÑEDO SINGULAR STATUS-

ONE OF THE MOST EXPRESSIVE VINEYARDS IN RIOJA ALAVESA, SHOWCASING

THE SUPERIOR FLAVORS OF OUR VERY BEST VINEYARD SITE.

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Great wine is made in the vineyard.  A vine in balance, producing healthy, optimally-ripened grapes has always been our dream come true.  Our old vine vineyard, Vasconegro, is so greatly prized because it does exactly that:  it produces gorgeous and healthy grapes, boasting complex concentrated flavors and a superb wine!

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VASCOMENDI VINEYARD STATS:

  • LOCATION:  Lanciego (Rioja Alavesa), on the skirts of the eastern end of the

       Sierra Cantabria mountain range.​

  • GRAPE VARIETIES:  Tempranillo, Viura & Malvasia.

  • AGE: Planted in 1965.

  • SIZE:  0.49 hectacre (1.21 acres)

    • 0.39 hectacre (0.96 acre) Tempranillo; 0.05 hectacre (0.125 acre) Malvasia; and 0.05 hectacre (0.125 acre) Viura 

  • ELEVATION:  570 meters (1870 feet) 

 

  • SOIL TYPE:  Chalky clay-limestone (calcareous clay)

 

  • FARMING:  Using organic farming principles

 

  • FIRST SINGLE VINEYARD BOTTLING: 

       Red wine:  2016 (Tempraniilo)

       White wine:  2017 (Malvasia & Viura)

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Special Story - Mendi's Grandparents Gifted This Spectacular Vineyard To His Parents As A Wedding!

Planted in 1965, the VASCOMENDI VINEYARD is one of the oldest vineyard sites in Rioja Alavesa.  When Mendi's parents married, his grandparents gifted his parents this very special vineyard.

Individually selected by Mendi for its exceptional quality, this vineyard is also meticulously farmed by Mendi himself.  To capture the essence of the vineyard, Mendi started using organic principles.  If you visit this vineyard, you can instantly smell the fresh soil and notice the teams of beneficial insects constantly buzzing by.  Because of Mendi's sensitive farming, the Vasconegro grapes consistently show incredible balance of exotic red fruits and layers upon layers of minerality and lingering texture. 

In 2016, Mendi realized his dream and started bottling the Tempranillo from the Vasconegro vineayard as a single vineyard red monovarietal. Later in 2017, Mendi started bottling the Malvasia & Viura from this exceptional vineyard as a single vineyard white wine, which just by the way, was awarded the VIÑEDO SINGULAR status as a wine as well, making it only one of seven white wines (and one of only two white wines in Rioja Alavesa) with such status.  

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VASCONEGRO'S THREE MAIN GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS & ITS OLD AGE: 

                                        

There are three main geographical factors that make this vineyard site ideal for producing elegant wines:  its altitude, the Sierra Cantabria mountain range and the clay-limestone soil (calcareous clay).  Another beneficial factor for the vineyard is its old age:  it's 56 years old! These 3 geographical factors along with its old age help contribute to the making of full-bodied wines with very fragrant aromas in their youth, good acidity, magnificent color, great aging ability and rich in extract.

  • Altitude:  ​Vasconegro Vineyard is situated high in the Lanciego hills in Rioja Alavesa on a beautiful southeast-facing slope.  On the skirts of the Sierra Cantabria at an altitude of 570 meters (1870 feet), this almost half of an hectacre (1.21 acres) vineyard thrives in cooler temperatures that help the grapes acquire and retain moderate acid levels and good color. 

  • Sierra Cantabria Mountain Range:  the Sierra Cantabria mountain range shelters the vineyards from the cold, clouds and rainy winds coming from the North and the Cantabric Sea.  These conditions help the vines and grapes have the longest growing season throughout all of Europe.  The ideal microclimate here at protects the vineyard from the cold and humid northeast winds, therefore giving the vineyard the ability to soak up all the solar rays and allowing a perfect ripening of the grapes. The grapes start to ripen in early June and the harvest usually takes place around mid-October.  This long growing season gives the tannins enough time to melt and give way for very soft, subtle and elegant wines.

  • Soil:  the soil here is made up of chalky clay-limestone (calcareous clay), which helps produce stable wines with high glycemic content, high pH, ​​good color, greater aging ability and rich in extract.  Due to the relatively poor conditions of the soil, the vines need more distance from each other to create less competition for the nutrients in the surrounding soil.

  • Old Age:  Planted in 1965, there are very few vineyards in Rioja Alavesa that are as old and as healthy as the Vasconegro vineyard.  If you walk down any row in this vineyard, you’ll see beautiful, tree-trunk sized vines that bring an intensity and a sense of place to the site.  These old vines have a deeper, more developed root system which give them better nutrient and water reserves, and far greater adaptability to climatic variations.  Old vines also show far less vintage variation than their younger counterparts, which is always a plus.  For quality-minded wine producers like Mendi, the uniquely complex, characterful wines derived from old vine vineyards are ample proof of their importance.

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