Grapes are sourced from the Carraelciego vineyard located at the foothills of the Sierra Cantabria Mountains, to the south of the river Ebro. Grapes macerate for five days. Fermentation is carried out in tapered stainless steel vats of 20,000 litres with three daily pump-overs. The maceration continues for the next 14 days. Once the malolactic fermentation is complete the wine is racked into French oak barrels for the next 24 months. Finally the wine is bottled and matured for a minimum of 16 months before being released.
Notes on the producer
Rai used to compete in triathlons at an international level, but now puts all his energy into producing and ageing some very elegant Rioja. He is the 3rd generation of winemakers in his family, dating back to 1900. Most of the production is Tempranillo but he also makes a great-value white from Viura and some wines contain a touch of Graciano. The Rioja Alavesa is sheltered from the hotter conditions lower down the Ebro valley by the Cantabrian Mountains, enabling Rai to make wines with higher acidity, lower alcohol and more freshness. Rai's daughter Lucía is now working with him at the winery, meaning there are now 4 generations of winemakers in the family; they recently built a new winery in the middle of their 10 hectares of vines, in the village of Laguardia, and are expanding in quantity and quality with production.