Conde de Hervías is an incredibly unique and specialized micro-winery in northern Rioja Alta, where the sole focus is producing single-vineyard wines of the highest quality from historic vineyards in the village of Torremontalbo. Íñigo Manso de Zúñiga Ugartechea, together with his winemaking partner and wife, Yolanda García Viadero, work highly prestigious plots of pre-phylloxera vines near their home in Torremontalbo, an incredible structure built in 1252 by the Visigoths. The property lies on the right bank of the Ebro River, in the Rioja Alta subzone of Rioja, where Atlantic climatic influences dominate and produce wines with outstanding aging potential.
The second wine of the estate is Torre del Conde de Hervías, a wine that Íñigo affectionately calls “the soul of Rioja Alta,” as he sees it as an intentional and pure, classic Rioja Alta wine with great aging potential. It is produced from tempranillo from their Llano Alto vineyard, planted in 1958 from cuttings of their iconic pre-phylloxera vineyard, Las Arenillas, planted in 1874. Torre del Conde de Hervías is also only made in select vintages and is built to age gracefully for decades, often rivaling the flagship Conde de Hervías wine.
The traditional goblet (bush training) method is used in the vineyard, which helps preserve acidity and freshness in the wines and guards against heat damage. Torre del Conde de Hervías is produced from hand-picked, organically-farmed grapes. Native yeasts are utilized for alcoholic fermentation, bringing the character of the vineyard to the wines. Recently, he has been utilizing a method called integrated fermentation, where alcoholic and malolactic fermentations happen simultaneously, bringing great harmony to the wine. Finally, the aging process is never hurried; the estate releases small quantities of each wine only when the time is right for each one to express its personality.
Vinification – Bunches are hand-harvested with a strict selection in the vineyard, then completely destemmed and crushed. 30% of the must is fermented in 1500L used French open-top barrels with native yeasts. The must in barrel goes through “integrated fermentation,” where alcoholic and malolactic fermentation happen simultaneously. 70% is fermented in stainless steel with native yeasts, undergoing spontaneous malolactic fermentation. The wine is then aged for 12 months in 50% new and 50% used 228L French and American oak barrels. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.