For over 140 years, four generations of the López de Heredia family have devoted themselves to producing exceptional and unique wines. They are today one of the most highly regarded wines not just in Rioja but all of Spain. They are absolutely traditional and highly ageworthy, still made in the same way that they were when the winery was founded. Following a tradition that has been passed down through generations, their wines are released at least 5-10 years before release.
A rarity in Rioja, Lopez de Heredia uses only estate bottled fruit from their prized vineyards- Tondonia, Cubillo, Bosconia, and Zaconia- with the idea that the only way to get the best fruit is to care for the vines themselves. The Tondonia vineyard is their most famous; over 100 hectares, it is situated in a shell-shaped depression on the right bank of the river Ebro, where the most typical Rioja wines are grown. The soil is alluvial clay with a high proportion of limestone. Average vine age is 45 years old and organic farming and natural fermentations are implemented, creating wines that exhibit great terroir. Grapes from Viña Tondonia are always used in making their highest quality wines, with truly exceptional vintages becoming Gran Reservas. The first Reserva was bottled by the founder in 1890; a few bottles of this are still kept in the family wine museum.
Today the wines are being made by the 4th generation of the family, Mercedes Lopez de Heredia.
"For us, tradition and conviction are life-long attitudes. Our winemaking process has been passed on from generation to generation, and our daily tasks are rooted in tradition, yet at the same time based on our deep belief in the validity and modernity of our methods. By “tradition”, we do not mean immobility and opposition to change; rather a dynamic and aesthetic concept in maintaining eternal principles and criteria. We are perfectly aware of the rhythm of change, and for this reason, our openness to change, our flexibility, our non-conformism and our self-criticism enable us to face the future. What we have inherited from our ancestors is what converts our idiosyncrasies into positive qualities and attitudes." - Winery
Lopez de Heredia white wines are unusually traditional for Rioja, which has shifted to making bright, fresh styles fermented in stainless steel. The Lopez de Heredia whites are aged in oak for several years and then aged in bottle for several years before release. Thus, the 2013 Gravonia is the current release. The wines are stunning, with a richness and texture not to be outdone by the exotic, nutty complex aromatics.