El gerente de Bodegas Estraunza, Iñigo Medrano, fue entrevistado por el portal inglés ‘Ultracomida‘.

A continuación os dejamos la entrevista en inglés:

Entrevista a Iñigo Medrano, gerente de Bodegas Estraunza1) Tell us a little bit about Rioja Alavesa?

The Rioja Alavesa is the smallest but most reknown part of the Appellation of Origin Rioja. It is located in the North West part of the Appellation of Origin and administratively it belongs to Alava in the Basque Country. The Rioja Alavesa comprises an area of about 60 Kilometers from East to West and about 10 or 12 kilometers South to North between the North Banks of the river Ebro and the South hillside of the Sierra Cantabria mountain range.

This location creates a micro-climate but the Rioja Alavesa is significantly influenced by the Atlantic climate but with high sun exposure and low rainfalls. The soils are chalky-clay situated in terraces and small plots which give the wines an intense colour and aromas, low acidity and a full bodied character.

2) Why the name Bodega Estruanza?

The name of the winery and its brand refers to the plot of land where the family house was originally located ´The Solar de Estraunza´ .

3) Tell us a little bit about the background of bodega Estruanza?

Bodegas Estraunza is a family business established 25 years ago, by Mr. Jesús Medrano in his birthplace, Lapuebla de Labarca, the smallest town of the Rioja Alavesa. Today Iñigo Medrano, second generation of the family is in charge of the business and we hope that the third generation of the family will join in a few years time. The size of the winery is relative small compared to the huge wineries that can be found in Rioja but its facilities are modern with a capacity in our underground caves of around 1500 French and American oak barrels, that we use for our Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva wines.

Quality is at the top of priorities in the family and our wines are generally awarded with the highest recognition in the most prestigious international awards, like Decanter in the UK, Mundus Vini in Germany, Challenge International du Vin in Bordeaux, Brussel International Wine Awards, among others.

4) We met Winemaker Inigo on our visit describe him to our readers?

Iñigo is the second generation of the Medrano family in charge of the winery. He´s been in the business since he was a kid and he loves it. As a person he is such a great guy, anybody visiting us will feel like at home. This goes beyond the typical Spanish hospitality, he is like this all the time.

5) What do you think makes their wines stand out?

Because the Solar de Estraunza wines are easy to understand, but this doesn´t mean they are simple wines, not at all, it actually means, that you don´t need to study a master of wine to be able to appreciate the quality of what you are drinking. The quality comes forward as soon as you get in your mouth a drop of any of the Estraunza wines.

6) What style of wine do you thing he is making here? For instance would you say it is modern or traditional?

We are very proud of the local grape varieties, that´s why as part of the family philosophy we only use tempranillo grapes from reds and viura for whites, from that side we may be classified as a traditional producer. On the other side we want to get the most out of the grapes and we use the most sophisticated vinification techniques to develop unique wines of the highest quality. If I had to describe our wine, I would say it is a classy Rioja with a twist!

7) Could you pick two of their bottles and describe to us?

I would choose Solar de Estraunza White and Solar de Estraunza Reserva and I would choose them because they are the opposite sides of the range of Bodegas Estraunza

– Solar de Estraunza white is a fresh and fruity white wine made of 100% Viura, this year got a bronze medal at the UK Decanter wine awards. Its a perfect choice to go with your smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on Christmas morning.

– Solar de Estraunza Reserva on the other hand it is full bodied oak aged red wine. It is made of 100% Tempranillo grapes and was oak aged for 24 months with additional 18 months bottle ageing. The Solar de Estraunza Reserva got this year a silver medal at the UK Decanter wine awards. This wine is ideal with roasts or a great bit of steak..

8) So if you had to pick one of their bottles as your personal favourite what would you say?

 I would choose Solar de Estraunza Reserva. The reason is easy, If today Queen Elizabeth comes home for dinner, I would feel comfortable offering her this wine.