Ramón Bilbao Climbs To Higher Heights With Viñedos de Altura

Press Release

Ramón Bilbao Climbs To Higher Heights With Viñedos de Altura

Viñedos de Altura is the red in the Ramón Bilbao range that flies the flag for the producer’s belief in pushing viticultural boundaries in Rioja and is now available with a brand-new look from Great Western Wine at RRP £13.95.

Since joining Ramón Bilbao in 1999, Rioja born-and-bred Winemaker Rodolfo Bastida has fallen more and more in amor with altitude for growing grapes with the fresh red fruit aromas and flavours he wants in his wines.  Always looking to delve deeper into the terroir of Rioja, Rodolfo has taken this fascination a step higher with his Viñedos de Altura - this time sourcing 50% Tempranillo and 50% Garnacha grapes from vineyards at a mutual 700m above sea level, but at opposite ends of the region.

“For the Tempranillo, I turn to Ábalos on the slopes of the Sierra Cantabria in Rioja Alta, while the Garnacha is grown in Tudelilla in the Rioja Baja, in the hills of the Sierra Demanda,” explains Rodolfo.  “On paper, two very different landscapes in very different lands but with a shared altitude - meaning harvesting is often at the same time and, most importantly, that the grapes have the red fruit, elegance and freshness I’m looking for.”

Planted in 1930, the Ábalos vineyard in Rioja Alta is planted on sandy, decomposed sandstone soils on the south side of the Sierra Cantabria where the mild Atlantic climate limits areas suitable for vine growing.  Tudelilla was planted in 1969, and the vines have taken root in typical Mediterranean mountain clearings where the north-facing aspect brings dry winters and spring rains, tempered by the stony soil soaking up the heat of the day.

After picking, the two grape varieties are vinified separately: the Tempranillo for 10 days at 28oC, and the Garnacha for 15 days at a slightly cooler 26oC to keep the fruit’s floral character - also enhanced by the Ramón Bilbao system of regular racking.  After malolactic fermentation, the wine is aged for 14 months in new French oak barrels and a further eight months in bottle.

Ruby red in colour with purple hues, this Rioja’s red and black berry fruit aromas and flavours combine brilliantly with the oak’s black pepper and ginger spice.  A modern, expressive wine that will match marvellously to many different dishes - from Thai curries to cured meats to bbq’d beef.

Ramón Bilbao Viñedos de Altura 2014: RRP £13.95 at Great Western Wine (greatwesternwines.co.uk).


Established in Haro in the heart of Rioja Alta in 1924, family-owned Ramón Bilbao is currently both the number one Rioja brand in the Spanish On-Trade (7.8% market share) and one of the fastest growing Rioja brands in the Off-Trade (+29%) in its competitive set [Nielsen data].  Rodolfo Bastida sources grapes from 240 hectares of owned vineyards, with access to a further 700 hectares via long-term grower contracts.  Bastida believes that the grapes he selects should be allowed to speak for themselves in his wines, and not be hidden by over-ageing and over-oaking. 

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Date of issue:  22 May 2017

Further information:  emma wellings pr  t 020 8996 5168  e alison@ew-pr.co.uk