- Vine-growing area: La Rioja
The Denominación Origen Calificada Rioja was set up in 1953. In 1970 the statutes of the appellation and its Control Board were approved and on 3 April 1991, a ministerial order bestowed the superior “Qualified” designation on the “Rioja” appellation, making it the first Denominación de Origen Calificada.
The D.O. Rioja covers a large growing area straddling the banks of the River Ebro along a stretch of over 100 kilometres running from north-west to south-east between the towns of Haro and Alfaro, in which currently 58,000 hectares of vines are cultivated.
- Soil and Climate
For generations we have been selecting the best types of soils for cultivating the vine. These basically correspond to two types:
- • Chalky clay soils: yellowish in colour, made from limestone or sandstone deposits from the Tertiary period, which are not very fertile. These soils produce wines high in extract and polyphenols, less alcoholic, sharper and more glyceric, making them particularly suitable for oak ageing.
- • Alluvial soils: found near the river Ebro, arranged in terraces, with a more or less flat topography, deep, with good drainage and an abundance of boulders. These soils produce wines with a higher alcohol content, with lower acidity and less extract, although with high polyphenol content.
The climate for our vines is totally linked to the topography created by the Ebro basin. Three different kinds of climate combine in perfect harmony to create an ideal microclimate for growing grapes: first the Mediterranean influence which comes up the Ebro valley from the sea, then the Atlantic or Ocean climate coming in from the north and finally the Continental air stream from neighbouring Castile, attenuated by the presence of the imposing mountains of the central massif.
Rainfall as a determinant factor varies between 250 and 400 mm per year, with a distribution of precipitations through the year which is well-suited to the vines’ growth cycle.
Average temperatures are around 13 to 14 degrees Celsius, while the heat summation achieved by our vineyards through the growing cycle (April-October) reaches 1890 degrees.
The Pastor Diaz family have been wine growers from their origins, nowadays carefully cultivating over 100 hectares of vines, mainly located in the best plots on the slopes of the foothills of Mount Yerga, one of the most exclusive areas for vine growing in the whole Rioja appellation.
Thanks to long experience and their technological resources, the cellar has undertaken extensive renewal and modernisation of the existing stock of vines, while at the same time getting the best results from the property’s oldest vineyards.
Currently, 70% of the Pastor Diaz vines are trained along wires and 30% receive traditional goblet pruning. The altitude at which the vines are grown ranges from 350 metres in those vineyards closest to the river Ebro and 600 metres in the highest vineyards of the slopes of Monte Yerga. In these vineyards, the main variety cultivated is Tempranillo, accompanied by the Garnacha and Graciano varieties.
- Grape varieties
We devote 90 hectares to this grape. It is the dominant and most favoured variety of the DOC Rioja. Used alone, in our zone, this variety is capable of producing wines of the highest quality, combining its potency and great elegance with a wide range of nuances of aroma and taste which make them very suitable for ageing.
We cultivate 10 hectares. It is the world’s most grown variety. In our estate it grows in the stony soils of our highest and most southerly plots. Here it gives very fruity wines with extract and alcohol which make them ideal for using in blends.
We have planted 10 hectares of this minority grape, which is very strong in Rioja. It is a very difficult variety to cultivate, but it produces very aromatic wines with fruit and floral nuances, with high polyphenol content, structure and tannin backbone, making the wines particularly suitable for cask ageing and ideal companions in blends with Tempranillo wines.