Luis Planas, Minister of Agriculture, travelled to Rioja on 10 October last to present the official recognition of first ‘Singular Vineyards’ to 50 producers who had committed to this certification.
With nine vineyards classified within this category, Bodegas Sonsierra takes another step forward in its commitment to produce unique and authentic wines, which will highlight the singular wealth and diversity of a vine-growing heritage like no other in Rioja.
The ‘Singular Vineyard’ category, created in 2017 by the Regulatory Board of the DO, differentiates the wines based on what really makes a wine unique, the vine, in addition to the ageing in barrel or time spent in bottle.
What makes a vineyard singular in Rioja
For a vineyard to be recognised as singular it must satisfy some very specific characteristics. “They must ruralplots or sites with highly unique agricultural, geological and climate conditions, which differentiate them and distinguish them from others of the area, giving rise to wines with singular qualities and features”, in the words of the actual Regulatory Board.
More specifically, among other conditions, they must be vineyards that are more than 35 years olda nd which yield, at most, 5,000 kilograms per hectare for white varieties and 6,922 kilograms per hectare in the case of red varieties. The vine-growing practices are limited to achieving a balanced vineyard with limited vigour, and always aimed at sustainability and respect for the environment. The harvesting standards , which can only be manual, and the production processes, always aimed at obtaining the highest quality wines, are also more restrictive.
The nine singular vineyards of Bodegas Sonsierra
Sonsierra has 9 plots classified in this category today, whose wines now form part of the highest wine quality category of Rioja, which can only include a small number of wines due to the singularity of the plots and the production requirements. These are the plots of ‘El Manao’, ‘El Bosque’, ‘La Liende’, ‘Jarrarte’, ‘Piedramiguel’, ‘Gallocanta’, ‘La Concova’, ‘Valseca’ and ‘Diasol’.
All are located in the Sonsierra area and they are all Tempranillo plots, although each one has its nuances defined by the specific characteristics of the soil, the location, etc.
The 2017 vintage of some of these vineyards was the first to receive this classification. This harvest now rests in our barrel hall and it will be the first to produce wines tagged with the Singular Vineyard label. We will have to wait a bit longer to taste these singular wines, but we are sure that the wait will be worthwhile. Of that we are totally certain.