The four key moments that make Finca Martelo such a remarkable wine
To reference Finca Martelo is to reference a new style of Rioja. It is a wine that is born from the idiosyncrasy of a very specific place: protected by a mountain range, graced with a very specific sun orientation, it is the reflection of the endless TLC passionately given to the vineyard that surrounds the winery and grand château, one of the leading estates in Rioja Alavesa.
Creating a wine with the personality of Finca Martelo requires finding that sweet spot between tradition and modernity, with a clear common objective in which every single little detail counts. This work philosophy is reflected in each stage of the wine creation process, from caring for the land and its vineyards, to uncorking and enjoying the wine.
A craft that expands through the seasons
Contamos con un protagonista excepcional en Torre de Oña; su suelo, su choque de climas, la tradición: su terruño.
We have an exceptional protagonist in Torre de Oña: its terroir, fruit of the typicity of its soil, the clash of its climates and its tradition.
The land is formed by a unique blend of soils, influenced by the chalky limestone which, in a very subtle way, retains the precise amount of water necessary for our vines during the ripening process, producing very well balanced and elegant wines. The majestic Cantabrian Mountain range is the natural backdrop which protects the vineyards from the humidity of the north, but enables them to take advantage of its freshness. The river Ebro, the protagonist of this great valley on its slow journey through Rioja Alavesa, brings a warm, Mediterranean influence. The seasons are marked and regulated by the continental climate found inland.
Interpreting and appreciating these natural foundations is only the first step. Achieving exceptional wines is our main goal. Twenty years of painstaking research and analysis to identify the qualities, exposure and expression of each plot have allowed us to discover the unique personality of Finca Martelo.
Work in the vineyard begins and ends in the winter, when ochre and orange tones flood our landscapes. This is the period of pause when the plant becomes austere, recovering and sending the reserves of the leaves and shoots towards its roots to protect itself from the coldest winter months. Pruning, which is our main work during this period, is the most important task in the life cycle of the vine, ensuring that we will be able to enjoy the fruits of these 60-year-old vines in the future.
The harvest, where modernity and tradition together hand in hand
In autumn, after months of careful and dedicated work done by many different people in the vineyard, the harvest festival begins. Each bunch of grapes is harvested by hand and is the first selection process. Then it is the winery´s turn to select the best fruit from the small crates that arrive carrying the grapes. The bunches are de-stemmed then sorted and selected by an optical sorting machine, which uses latest-technology lasers to individually analyse hundreds of berries per second. Only the best grapes become Finca Martelo.
Refined over time
Finca Martelo is a wine that, due to its smoothness and expression, needs to be aged in the cellar. For this reason, we use oak barrels to allow the wine to rest and stabilise in a natural way, using a traditional racking system. Then comes the time to rest in the bottle where everything comes together, where the last nuances of the wine appear.
In the words of Alejandro López, the winery’s oenologist: “All the work is focused from the vineyard itself. In the winery we want to respect the vineyard’s expression so that the following vintage is better than the previous one“. It is a process that prepares Finca Martelo for the times and allows it to be enjoyed in the future.
The last step before the beginning of a new journey
The previous tastings allow us to know how the wine has evolved during its time in the bottle, and it is at that precise moment when we decide when to send the wine off on its new journey, this time outside the winery. When that time comes, all that is left to do is to wait and see the reaction of people who wish to dedicate their time to enjoying Finca Martelo.