Run by father and son team Santiago Ijalba García and Roberto Ijalba Pérez, Bodegas Santalba is situated just four kilometres from Haro, the “capital of Rioja”. Now in their 13th year of production, their first vintage was produced in 1998. Owning some 20ha of vineyards – 90% of which are Tempranillo – the Ijalba’s buy grapes from a further 80ha and have always worked with the same growers since the beginning. Depending on the vintage conditions the winery produces between 50,000 and 65,000 9 litre cases per year. Approximately 2,000 of those are certified organic; all grapes are hand harvested and sealed under natural cork produced in NW Spain.
Roberto Ijalba Pérez completed studies at UC Davis and is a fully qualified Oenologist from Madrid. His passion for oenological innovation and cutting-edge trends are beginning to make their mark on the bodega’s wines. Organic viticulture, the ongoing development of R&D, continued creativity in packaging and design and a desire to maintain authentic Rioja production traditions have all contributed to the success of the winery today.
Over the last few years Roberto and Santiago have been working on a research and development project to create healthier wines. The project is based on the understanding that grapes grown by a process of completely natural viticultural techniques will contain higher levels of antioxidants (particularly resveratrol) which are considered to have health benefits. As a result of their research the winery has released Santalba Rioja Resveratrol 2009 a ground breaking organic wine from rioja produced from 100% Tempranillo. This innovative and timely project has already paid off as official tests carried out on the wine prove it to have the highest natural levels of resveratrol of any wine in the world.
Bodegas Santalba are also experimenting with small lots to produce limited top class bottlings all produced from 100% Tempranillo. Irep, which means “wine” in ancient Egyptian, is produced from 90-year-old vines and aged in new French oak barrels. Nabot is a single vineyard wine that has only been produced in two vintages: it is aged in a selection of Hungarian, French and American barrels for 17 months, and is unfiltered.
Chill well for summer in a glass
Rosé made 100% from Tempranillo
Spanish table wine at its best
A classic Spanish red
An exceptional Spanish red