“Biga! Biga! Biga!”, booms Florentino.
What is Biga, you ask? Biga is the number two in Basque and also the name of the second wine he makes in his line, Luberri Crianza. It also happens to be one of his most popular wines, a wine which we have yet to find anyone who is not a fan. One night, in the midst of an industry tasting of Rioja with many famous labels represented, upon noticing that one particular magnum was completely empty while the other wines were only partially consumed, Florentino leaned over and offered the perfect insight into his wines: “You see, while people like to talk about those other wines, they like to drink my wine. It makes them happy.” It was a simple, yet important observation about winemaking. The wine was a magnum of 1996 Luberri Biga, the first vintage he bottled this vineyard separately and he shared it to prove that it could stand with the perceived “best” in the Rioja discipline. The wine was complex and layered, but most of all it was fun, lively, and simply delicious to drink. It was the wine everyone wanted in their glass because there was as much joy in the wine as there was in the man who made it. That experience encapsulates the spirit and the wines of Luberri. There are names that people in the industry like to drop, but when it comes to wines to drink for pure pleasure, Luberri is always at the top of the list.
Florentino Martínez Monje, the incredible force behind Luberri, is a jovial and mercurial spirit with a heart the size of Rioja. He is also a serious winemaker, a self-made cosechero who is so talented he often makes his craft look easy. In reality, Florentino is one of the most respected farmers in Rioja because he grew up in the vineyards and understands his landscape better than almost anyone alive.
“Authentic, direct, and passionate. I always go straight in life and wine. This is how our wines are: honest and true. We try to convey something very simple yet deep: our very own personality. Luberri wines are land, climate, work, and tradition, captured in the moment” – Florentino Martínez Monje