On July 10, 1890, five Basque and Rioja-based vine growers created "SOCIEDAD VINICOLA DE LA RIOJA ALTA" in what is known as the Haro Station District. This was the beginning of a fascinating business venture in which the only dream of the five founders was to craft and age high quality wines.
The European spirit which is so popular today was present in La Rioja and in our winery from the very beginning. Mr Vigier, a French expert, was hired as technical manager and we were soon familiar with what is now known as “classic” vinification.
The company changed its name to "LA RIOJA ALTA" in 1891.
In 1941, the company took on its present name, LA RIOJA ALTA, S.A. A year later, when Leandro Ardanza Angulo was chairman of the board, we registered the brand name to which we most owe our fame and renown: "Viña Ardanza".
At the time, casks were manufactured entirely in the winery by a team of five coopers. In 2002, we returned to this tradition and now manufacture our own casks with wood imported from the U.S. and dried for 2 years in our coopery.
In 1952, we purchased the winery’s first bottling system. Before that, the bottling process took place in the client’s facilities
In 1970, a new cask hall was built and we started to increase our vineyards, buying several estates. This was the time when new brands were introduced, such as Viña Arana or Viña Alberdi.
In 1985, we registered a brand name which was to become very popular in the future: Marqués de Haro.
At the same time, we stopped making the last young wines supplied by the winery, searching for a white wine with a great personality and different than other Spanish wines.
As a result, in 1987 we acquired and renovated a traditional winery located in the heart of Galicia, "Lagar de Fornelos, S. A.", which produces "Lagar de Cervera". Its 76 hectares of 100% Albariño vines ensuring the very best quality.
On January 27, 1995, we bought Torre de Oña, S.A., a charming winery located in the area of Páganos-Laguardia, which produces "Barón de Oña", a Reserva red. This made us one of the best quality producers in Rioja Alavesa.
On January 16, 1996, work started on the new Labastida winery, located on our own estates just 1,500 metres from the Haro winery. This new facility enabled us to considerably improve the quality of the wines made by La Rioja Alta SA, especialmente en el proceso de fermentación.
After a long, but thorough search, which started in 1989 with the purchase and plantation of the first vineyards, 1999 to 2001 saw the construction of a new, state-of-the-art winery in Anguix (Burgos) in the Ribera del Duero Designation of Origin. Its name is Bodegas y Viñedos Áster, S.L
We believe that Grupo La Rioja Alta, after its considerable but planned growth, is now ideal in size and diversity. Therefore we are now focusing on innovation, better quality and adaptation to the profound changes occurring in the world of wine.
Our first priority is to care for and improve our vineyards. In order for them to express all their potential and personality, we apply a non-aggressive sustainable vine-growing system, using neither irrigation nor fertilisers and with as few treatments as possible. We insist on quality fruit over large production figures.
Another aspect which requires special attention is the harvest. Supported by advanced analytical protocols, we harvest each plot of land by hand at the ideal moment.
However, although it is true that great wines are born in the vineyard, good winery procedures are absolutely essential if we are to obtain the best wine, always based on natural processes with as few technical interventions as possible. We pay special attention to our . We look for the best oak (American, French and so on) for each kind of wine. In the last few years, our stock of casks has been subject to a gradual and methodical renewal and renovation plan.
This is all reflected in the evolution of the style of all our wines which, while retaining loyal to classic values, are also open to a more modern interpretation.
We approach the present and the future with great enthusiasm, with our core values of quality, innovation and excellence.