Lindes de Remelluri
Lindes de Remelluri (Borders of Remelluri) is the result of a visionary and broadly representative social initiative at Remelluri to emphasize the identity and prestige of the village-specific wines of Rioja. The Lindes project began in 2009 with the return of Telmo and Amaia Rodríguez Hernandorena to their iconic family winery upon their father’s retirement. Lindes de Remelluri is a social and economic project rooted in collaboration with trusted grower-partners from villages near the Granja Remelluri property with the goal of improving their surroundings and communities by encouraging consumers to ask one question: Where does your Rioja wine come from?
The siblings’ return to the estate marked the beginning of a new era at Remelluri, which served two purposes simultaneously. First was their commitment to the process of uncovering and revealing the true status of Granja Remelluri as a singular, historic place and wine, and secondly, developing the identity and potential of Rioja’s most prominent villages, which became the Lindes de Remelluri project.
With Lindes de Remelluri, Telmo Rodríguez seeks to evolve the dialogue regarding the future of the Rioja region from one of aging methods, grape varieties, and blends (wines made in the cellar) to a conversation focused on villages, sites, terroir, and responsible economic and ecological vineyard stewardship (wines made in the vineyard).
At the macro level, Rioja comprises three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Oriental (formerly Baja). This division, based on political and physical boundaries rather than soils and geology, is fundamentally inadequate when understanding the Rioja DOCa’s range of terroirs.
Lindes de Remelluri were the first wines of Rioja to carry the names of the villages in which they were produced directly on the label since the 2010 vintage when Labastida and San Vicente de la Sonsierra were first produced as distinct village wines. Village-specific labeling is standard practice for other top wines from around the world, yet it has remained a radically progressive idea in Rioja. Here, the dogma of house style has been protected at the expense of village identity, and the practice of village labeling has been historically outlawed.
Lindes de Remelluri explores the unique characteristics of each village, emphasizing the identity and character of village-specific wines and their grape growers by demonstrating their unique potential through the lens of excellent viticulture, gentle vinification, and élevage. The growers for Lindes de Remelluri utilize ancestral farming techniques, which include organic, biodynamic, and regenerative vineyard practices. In the cellar, rather than using winemaking and technique to transform the wines, they aim for consistency across the range to guide each expression to reach the full potential of the place. Telmo describes this winemaking as a “winery in the back, village in the front.”
Lindes continues to honor the deep relationships the Rodríguez family has maintained with each family of grape growers over the decades by encouraging excellent farming through continued responsible economic stewardship and financial incentives to produce the healthiest, best fruit possible. They achieve this by paying their growers some of the highest prices in the region for their contributions to Lindes de Remelluri, an inherently revolutionary practice. This philosophy proposes that the future of sustainable viticulture and wine culture must take into consideration the economic incentives for those who contribute to the success of a project. Lindes de Remelluri is a leader in the region for their advocacy of raising the prices paid for quality grapes across the Rioja region.
With the goal of being a broadly representative social project, inclusive of some of the most important Rioja villages, Lindes de Remelluri widened its scope in 2020, expanding to explore the unique characteristics of six of the most important Rioja villages: Salinillas de Buradón, Labastida, Rivas de Tereso, San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Peciña, and Ábalos (in a special partnership with the Marqués de Legarda). In addition to widening the scope of Lindes de Remelluri to include more villages, the future vision also includes verticality with the production of wines from single growers and vineyards from each village, as Telmo Rodríguez has invited smaller growers to participate in the Lindes program by vinifying their wines at Remelluri. Lindes de Remelluri represents the contribution and legacy of the Rodríguez family for the future success and prosperity of the Rioja region.
The relentless scholarly exploration of wine and culture is the spirit of Remelluri. The landscape presents a timeless environment where one can simultaneously discover both the history of the northern Iberian peninsula, and the future of Spanish viticulture. In this regard, Remelluri as a place of great energy continues to magnetically attract creative, motivated individuals like the Rodríguez family to write their stories in the foothills of the Cantabrian mountains.