Hermanos Hernáiz
El Jardin De La Emperatriz Rioja Blanco, Rioja Alta,2019

Finca La Emperatriz -The Empress’s Estate- is an historic vineyard in Baños de Rioja that once belonged to the last Empress of France, Eugenia de Montijo.

12 km from Haro, nestled between the Sierra de Cantabria and Sierra de la Demanda mountain ranges, Finca La Emperatriz is located in the north western end of the Rioja DOC, at 570 m above sea level in one of the highest plateaux in the Rioja Alta.

In 1996, the Hernáiz family purchased that same estate, and brothers Eduardo and Victor Hernáiz took charge of a project aimed at producing quality wines.

The soil of Finca La Emperatriz is unique in La Rioja. A poor, extremely hard soil, which provides the wines with a distinctive elegance and minerality and great ageing potential.

Grape

100% Viura

Vineyard & Vinification Note

Region D.O.Ca Rioja, Rioja Alta.

Terroir Impressive terroir with a layer of large white pebbles to a depth of about 40 cm, covering a loose, sandy sub-soil. An ideal soil to grow vines, as it has excellent drainage, plenty of light and the roots are well placed to receive all the nutrients they require. The wines produced from this type of soil are fine and elegant.

Vineyard Mostly bush vines -80%- with an average age of 60 years, along with 20% of trellis vines.

Yields of 6,600 kg/ha (42,90 hl/ha).

 Harvest Hand-harvested, between the 3rd and the 5th October.

 Winemaking After a soft crush in an inert atmosphere, the juice macerated with the pulp at 8ºC for two days. Later, it fermented at a temperature of 15ºC and after the alcoholic fermentation, the wine remained in contact with the fine lees for two months.

2019 Harvest: A generally stable wine-growing year, with accumulated temperatures that can be considered average for the region and annual rainfall of 440 mm. The most important episode took place in August, when a hailstorm slightly and unevenly affected some plots at Finca La Emperatriz. This had no influence whatsoever in terms of health, but it did have an impact on the quantity of grapes, preventing them from developing uniformly. Less vigorous vines allowed the growth of less compact bunches and smaller grapes, key conditions for maximum quality. The summer was dry and sunny, allowing optimal ripening and an impeccable vineyard’s vegetative state. The harvest arrived with perfect weather conditions, being shorter than in previous years, due to the smaller quantity of grapes -a generalised situation in all the Rioja D.O.Ca and other nearby D.O.’s-. In short, an exemplary vintage, with a low harvest, of extraordinary quality, and possibly memorable in Rioja.

Tasting Note

A balanced white, with freshness, persistence and a delicate touch.

Food Pairing

This white Rioja will pair well with grilled fish and shellfish, garlicky prawns, a gazpacho or simply enjoy on its own.