Bodegas Castillo Clavijo has had agreements in place for many years with over 500 families of small growers who devote their lives to growing grapes from generation to the next. Among the 550 hectares of vineyards that they supervise, they grow every traditional Rioja grape variety: the red Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo and the white Viura, Malvasía and Garnacha. The diversity of terroirs found among vineyards provides them with the opportunity to work with vines at different altitudes and with different orientations. Based on these variables, they make the young Monte Clavijo wines and their barrel-aged Castillo Clavijo wines, faithfully representing the traditional style of Rioja while staying very much up-to-date, thanks to their young winemaker Paloma Redondo.
This experience has allowed them to identify the terroirs that are best suited for growing each variety. Their vineyards, and those owned by the winery itself, are distributed among 28 small municipalities located in the central part of the wine region, offering a considerable variety of orientations, growing systems, types of grapes, soils, and so on. It is a melting pot of Rioja wine and its diversity. The reflection of this knowledge and their work allows them to produce wines that represent the true essence of Rioja: balance, elegance and reliability.
Clavijo castle is located at the heart of the DOCA Rioja, just 6km from the Castillo de Clavijo winery. A crossroads of valleys, rivers and mountains where the continental, mediterranean and atlantic climates have existed for centuries moulding a landscape ideal for growing grapes.
Archaeological remains of rock presses and wineries can be found scattered across the wine region. This special relationship took hold in the Middle Ages around abbeys and monasteries, such as the one in San Millan de la Cogolla, cradle of the Spanish language. Later, the modern age saw the appearance of the first wine merchants, which led to an increase in planted surface area and production. Located in the geographical centre of the wine region, it was built in the 10th century and listed as a national monument in 1931. It provides a privileged viewpoint to admire and understand Rioja wine and its history in its full scope.
Its battlements mark the edge of the Sierra del Camero Viejo and open the doors to the valley that holds the major part of the region’s vineyards. From here you can see the three different sub-areas of the DOCa Rioja: Rioja Alta and its blue mountain contour; Rioja Alavesa with its yellowish, limestone soils; and Rioja Baja with its flint stones and red hues. It is a landscape full of diversity, where Rioja’s indigenous varieties, led by the delicate Tempranillo,find the most suitable terroir for growing.
Rioja is the leading Spanish wine region and the first to gain a DOCa classification (higher than DOC). 400km north of Madrid, Rioja is divided into three zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Baja. Tempranillo is probably the most widely planted and produces its best wines grown on the clay and limestone slopes of the Rioja Alta and Alavesa, while Garnacha is the focus in the hotter (and sometimes drought-ridden) Rioja Baja
More to accompany a special dinner than for everyday drinking, these wines are showing more complex flavours and some will improve with a few more years of ageing. Includes Pinot Noir, a wine that tends to be lighter in colour, body and tannins because of the grape’s thin skin. As the wine matures it develops gamey characteristics and much fuller fruit flavours.
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