The Familia Martínez Bujanda produces the Grands Crus of Spanish wines at its Finca Valpiedra in Rioja, where the local terroir is crucial
Nestled between the mountains of the Sierra Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda, the terraces of Finca Valpiedra produce the Rioja wine region’s first Grandes Pagos de España – the Spanish equivalent of the Grands Crus. The award-winning wines produced at this 80-hectare vineyard are among the finest in Europe and an essential part of the Familia Martínez Bujanda’s collection of exceptional vineyards, regularly scoring over 90 points from the world’s top wine experts.
The family has been making wines in Spain since 1889. Finca Valpiedra in Rioja joined Finca Antigua in La Mancha and the white wine-producing Finca Montepedroso in Rueda. Although from different regions, the wines share a common philosophy. “In every vineyard, we make terroir wines,” says Export Manager Marta Martínez Bujanda, the fifth generation to work for the family-owned company. “We want our wines to have the character of the terroir – the weather, the plants, the soil. That is the shared philosophy. Finca Valpiedra is in Rioja, but we don’t want to show the character of Rioja and compete with other Rioja wines, we want to show the character of Finca Valpiedra. We have a unique microclimate, soil and humidity, and have 45-year-old vines – these make our wines different to others in the region.”
One of the defining characteristics of Finca Valpiedra’s terroir are the small stones from the Ebro riverbed – the vineyard’s name means “valley of stones”. The stones cover the ground, absorbing heat. “This means we harvest about ten to 14 days earlier than the rest of the area. As the stones hold the warmth of the day throughout the night, the ripening process is smoother,” explains Marta. “We make four wines here, including our flagship wine, the Reserva.”
The wine is aged for two years in French oak barrels and then left for four years in the bottle. “The philosophy of the winery is to make a long-ageing wine,” says Marta. “We keep back some of the old vintages and we release them from time to time as they continue to mature and age impeccably. We have always used our own vines, and this allows us to have complete control over every stage of the winemaking process.”