Badiola, founded in 2018, is a winery based in the heart of Rioja Alavesa which offers a new perspective on Rioja wines: here the emphasis is on site, rather than ageing. The vineyards are situated on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria, predominantly surrounding the villages of Villabuena, Leza, Laguardia and Baños del Ebro, with each terroir producing wines with distinctive character. The vines are extremely old and low yielding; many were planted in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s and they deliver concentrated juice with a clear identity. Vines are planted on hillsides in soils with a high percentage of limestone, a characteristic that sets Alavesa apart from the rest of Rioja, together with high altitude and vineyard age. The winemaking philosophy is to obtain very pure, fresh and well-textured wines that reflect their origin.
The 2018 vintage in Rioja Alavesa started with fresh and wet conditions; rain and winds at flowering resulted in naturally lower yields. The cooler growing season allowed a slow and gradual ripening cycle for the Badiola vines, resulting in fresh, delicate and aromatic wines.
The grapes come from carefully selected parcels around the charming village of Laguardia, in Rioja Alavesa. Laguardia is situated on average at 640 metres above sea level and is open to the Ebro Valley with exposed sites. The mesoclimate here results in earlier ripening than other villages and produces approachable wines that are elegant, light and perfumed. The bush vines are planted in limestone soils and are cultivated with respect for the environment, using minimal sprays of copper and sulphur only when required. The fruit is hand-harvested in 15 kilogram boxes to preserve the quality. Current Denominación de Origen regulations in Rioja only permit the use of a village name on the label by the location of the winery (i.e. the building and not the vineyards) thus the wine from the Laguardia vineyards is marketed as L4GD4.
The grapes were manually sorted to maintain diversity and subtle variation in ripeness. Fermentation and malolactic conversion took place with selected yeasts in stainless steel tanks and concrete vats at moderate temperatures. Gentle daily pump-overs and maceration times were tailored to each individual tank based on tastings, with the aim of obtaining balance without over-extraction. The wine was made without excessive use of new oak or oxidative ageing. 42% was matured in first and second-use French barriques of 300 litres for eight months and the balance was aged in stainless steel tanks on its fine lees. Blending and bottling took place on January 31st 2019, producing just 7,200 bottles.
A light, perfumed wine with delicate floral aromas of wild strawberries and violet giving way to a juicy palate with velvety tannins and an elegant finish.