Ostatu is a family winery whose roots can be traced back to several generations devoted to grape growing. It is a fitting example of the past and present of Rioja Alavesa, the subarea within the DO Rioja which belongs to the Basque Country.
In 1970, Doroteo Sáenz de Samaniego started bottling cosechero wines, a sort of Spanish Beaujolais which is a trademark of this area. At the onset of the 21st century, four of his six children took the reins of the family business and developed wines suitable for aging, notwithstanding their young carbonic maceration which continues to be among the most prominent in this style.
The winery owns over 30 hectares of land under vine spread across several Rioja Alavesa villages, namely Samaniego, Leza and Laguardia. Classic Rioja varieties dominate, but red Tempranillo occupies a special place.
Their young carbonic maceration red -fresh, fruity, clean and pleasant on the palate- offers excellent value for money (around €6) whereas the fresh, fruit-driven and lively Crianza (around €8) has a singular personality derived from the addition of 20-30% carbonic maceration wine in the blend.
The “singular wines” in the portfolio include Lore de Ostatu, a barrel-fermented white, and three reds. Selección de Ostatu (around €12) comes from 50+ year-old vines; Laderas de Ostatu (around €22) is a pago (single vineyard) red from the El Portillo vineyard, where mineral notes blend with the vibrant fruit that characterises this winery; lastly, Gloria de Ostatu (around €38) comes from the three oldest vineyards in the estate (Revillas, Carralaguardia and Lagunazuria) and is a red that demands further development in the bottle.
The winery, built around an old roadside inn (ostatu means inn in Basque), offers numerous tasting activities and corporate events. It has built a circle of friends around the so called Txoko Ostatu, a concept derived from the famous Basque gastronomical societies which are restricted to groups of friends who get together to cook, eat and socialize.