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Paco & Lola: Intelligent design

07/12

Paco & Lola: Intelligent design

Modernity, originality, dynamism and intelligence are the keys to...

Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana: The heart and soul of Manzanilla

06/12

Bodegas Hidalgo – La Gitana: The heart and soul of Manzanilla

Sanlúcar de Barrameda, the Cádiz town where Bodegas Hidalgo-La...

Mas Doix, Priorat at its very best

05/12

Mas Doix, Priorat at its very best

The owners of bodega Mas Doix have family ties with viticulture ...

Bodegas Piqueras: from Almansa to the Rest of the World

03/12

Bodegas Piqueras: from Almansa to the Rest of the World

Bodegas Piqueras was founded almost a century ago, in 1915, at a...

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Viña Ijalba reinterprets wines from Rioja

30/12/2011

Where some 30 years ago La Rioja’s landscape was subject to open cast mining, today is home to lush vineyards owned by Viña Ijalba, a bodega which has made organic agriculture and respect for the environment its trademark. The bodega, which is located on the outskirts of Logroño, has focused its energies on preserving La Rioja’s wealth of natural heritage as regards grape varieties. Maturana Blanca and Tinta, Graciano, and Tempranillo Blanco are the basic ingredients Viña Ijalba works with in order to reinterpret the style of wines from Rioja.

Viña Ijalba’s track record started way back in 1975 when Dionisio Ruiz Ijalba, an industrialist from La Rioja, decided to reclaim lands which had been used for open cast mining and convert them into agricultural land for vine cultivation. The culmination of this idea would materialise in 1991 with the building of the bodega on the outskirts of Logroño and the launch of a vitiviniculture initiative committed to respecting the environment from the onset. The bodega began to use organic viticulture methods in 1994 and in January 2000 it became the first bodega to receive the environmental certification ISO 14.001 from AENOR, which also encompasses environmental protection practices in the industrial processes carried out at the bodega.

Viña Ijalba boasts 80 hectares of its own vineyards located on the outskirts of Logroño and in the towns of San Vicente de la Sonsierra and Valle de Najerilla. As a result of reclaiming lands originally used for open cast mining, the vines grow on poor soils which were covered with an 80-centimetre layer of top soil and pebbles. The land’s poor capacity for water retention gives rise to less-vigorous, low-yield vines, a factor which determines the intrinsic quality of the raw material with which Viña Ijalba makes its wines.

The bodega’s vineyards are maintained using organic viticulture methods, where the use of herbicides, chemical fertilisers and synthetic phytosanitary products has been eliminated. To replace them Viña Ijalba uses grass as a source of organic material after having processed it throughout the winter and only uses cow and sheep manure as fertilizers. Viña Ijalba was the first bodega from Rioja to sell a wine made from organic grapes, ‘Solferino’ in 1998. Since 1999 harvesting has been carried out by hand in 20-kg crates with the aim of preserving the quality of the fruit until reaching the bodega.

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