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Hermanos Pecina

In 1992 Pedro Peciña Crespo established a small winery in San Vincente de la Sonsierra, in the heart of Rioja Alta, and Bodegas Hermanos Peciña was born. He was well qualified for the task, having been vineyard manager for 18 years at the traditional La Rioja Alta winery. He wanted to protect and continue the legacy of Riojan wines, and so Hermanos Peciña are traditionalists, and have always elaborated their wines in the classic Riojan style. There are 50 hectares under vine on the left bank of the Ebro River on nine sites, planted at an altitude of between 475 and 600 metres above sea level, on calcareous clay with a high proportion of limestone. The vineyards are farmed organically and sustainably. Tempranillo is the predominant grape variety, but some Garnacha, Graciano and the white Viura are also grown, as they respect the traditional idea of blending grape varieties to produce more complex wines. The grapes are hand-picked and each individual parcel is fermented separately using native yeasts. New wood is eschewed and ageing, both in wood and in bottle, is a Hermanos Peciña trademark. Their wines mature considerably longer than the minimum requirement for Rioja wines; two years in wood for Crianza, three for Reserva, and four for Gran Reserva (minimum requirement is one year, one year, and two years respectively). There are three rooms where the wines age gracefully in 4,500 American oak medium-toasted oak barrels, that are stacked four or five high, a scene that is rare in Rioja today. In Rioja these days it is common to rack wines by pumping them from the barrel into large stainless steel tanks, and then back into barrel, but Hermanos Peciña are one of the only bodegas that still undertake the traditional “trasiego” or racking system by hand, racking the wine every six months using gravity and decanting from barrel to barrel, so separating the clarified wine from the lees, which oxygenates it and increases ageing potential. This is a time-consuming and expensive method, but delivers the quality they seek in all their wines. Their patience results in well-rounded, velvety-textured wines, that are extremely long-lived. These are rich and complex artisanal wines - the classic, traditional style of Rioja's glorious past lives on at Hermanos Peciña.