Sustainably and organically farmed
Founded nearly 25 years ago but built on more than 50 years of winemaking heritage. Bodegas Santalba’s father and son winemakers, Santiago and Roberto, have recently been joined in the business by Roberto’s sister Laura, and the family works harmoniously on traditional and maverick projects respectively.
The most recent of Roberto’s small batch experiments include carbonic maceration and a sparkling DOC Rioja, all this whilst also managing the conception and creation of the region’s first and only urban winery.
The fight against climate change:
Of the vineyards they own, all of Santalba’s are certified organic and the growers they work with follow the winery’s strict environmentally sensitive practices, but it is not always financially viable for smaller growers to jump through the official certification hoops which is why the wines are not labelled as certified organic.
With the severity and frequency of tempestuous weather increasing Santalba is totally immersed in the reality of climate change and how it is affecting vine growing and winemaking in Rioja. They have experienced climate damage first hand and so have established forward thinking viticultural processes to ensure a long and successful future for the winery. These include and are not limited to managing a biodiverse cover crop, planting vineyards at high altitudes where it is cooler, helping to re-establish abandoned vines, late pruning to avoid spring frost and tight control of surface roots to allow the deep ones to grow and reach water.