Viña Real has been producing wine since the nineteenth century and over the years has consistently brought fresh ideas and techniques to the Rioja region.
Today they can be found in Rioja Alavesa, a sub-region that pioneered barrel-ageing, and indeed Viña Real themselves were one of the first to make crianza wines.
Their first wine was sold way back in 1920 from vines near the Camino Real (or 'royal road', an historic Spanish highway) which is where their name originated. They have retained this name, although they are now under the much larger umbrella of producers run by the famous CVNE organisation.
Despite their many years of experience, choosing when to harvest is still a tricky operation as they only want to pick grapes at their optimum potential. When harvesting does get underway, it is done by hand, and the grapes undergo a further selection on automatic 'hoppers' at the winery.
Viña Real Rioja is fermented in stainless-steel tanks. Extra colour and tannin is extracted by frequently mixing the 'cap' of skins that form back into the juice. Malolactic fermentation follows in a portion each of French and American oak, before the wine is manually racked to stabilise it and get rid of deposits. The wine is also clarified with egg whites for added silky texture and shiny colour.
The winery itself is worthy of note: designed by Bordeaux's Philippe Mazières, its stunning architecture incorporates a gigantic vat atop the hill of their property which is always a talking point for visitors.
Grower profile: updated 22/10/2013