Beronia: Benchmark wine of Rioja

http://beronia.es/

Rioja is one of the best known Spanish wine producing regions and has D.O.Ca designation. The region is subdivided into three areas, Rioja Alta, Rioja Baja and Rioja Alavesa. The Beronia vineyards are in the west of the region in Rioja Alta which has the highest elevation of the three areas. The area is influenced by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean and has a mix of clay and chalky soils.

The Beronia name comes from the Berones, a Celtic tribe who inhabited the region in 3rd Century BC and called the land Beronia.

The winery was founded in 1973 by a group of friends who wanted the best wine to accompany their gastronomic get-togethers (called Txoko in their native Basque).  The winery was acquired by Gonzalez Byass in 1982, although some of the original founders still visit the winery on a regular basis to dine as they have done for decades.

Beronia owns 20 hectares and controls a further 870 hectares through long term contracts and good relationships with local growers.  All these vineyards are within a 10 kilometer radius of the winery which provides a substantial freshness benefit during harvest.  The predominant grape is Tempranillo.  Mazuelo, Garnacha, Graciano and Viura are also planted.

The role of oak is very important in Beronia wines, historically a mix of American and French oak barrels, but more recently they have pioneered the use of mixed oak barrels—French heads and American staves.

Beronia was created, and has evolved over the years, always with food in mind—meats, game, cheeses and the traditional dishes of the region.

It consistently receives high awards from all of the top wine magazines and has become the third best-selling brand in Spain.