Stepping into the cellars of Lopez de Heredia is a step into calmness, a place where everything seems in perfect equilibrium. Moss covered walls regulate humidity perfectly, whilst spiders webs give away some of the cellar’s key workers, charged with stopping the build up of flies. But in these cellars, with their seemingly never ending tunnels lined with gently aging barrels of wine, real magic happens.
The cellars’ equilibrium is reflected in the bodega’s wines. The perfect demonstration of traditional Rioja, slow aging in these passageways creates hugely complex wines that balance dried fruit flavours with leathery, spicy elements imparted by the oak barrels - at Lopez de Heredia crafted by their very own coopers.
Lopez de Heredia were one of the first three wineries in the Rioja region, the very first in the prized spot of Haro in heart of La Rioja Alta, Rioja’s highest regarded region. It remains one of the region’s most prestigious names today.
Not purely about the past, in 2001 Lopez de Heredia commissioned celebrated, and sadly recently departed architect, Zaha Hadid to create a new and trailblazing reception area, which now perfectly compliments the imposing old buildings of the bodega.
Indeed, Lopez de Heredia have long been groundbreaking. In 1913, the then owner felt the need to purchase his own vineyards so that he could control every part of the winemaking process, and consistently produce high quality wines. Owning vineyards rather than buying grapes has only recently become fashionable amongst other producers in the region.
That first vineyard was Viña Tondonia, a beautiful spot on the right bank of the river Ebro, the very best spot in Rioja Alta for growing grapes for Rioja. It is the site for Lopez de Heredia’s very finest wines