Founded in 1987 by businessman and restaurateur Gonzalo Antón along with a group of friends from the Basque city of Vitoria, the Villabuena-based winery in Rioja Alavesa lwas the start of what today forms Grupo Artevino, with Bodegas Orben also in Rioja (Laguardia), Finca Villacreces (Ribera del Duero) and Bodegas Vetus (Toro).
Izadi was involved in the frantic activity that took over Rioja Alavesa at the end of the 1980s which improved the quality of its wines, from young cosechero bottlings to more serious crianza styles. In fact, Izadi's main achievement was its ability to position its crianza and reserva among the top value for money brands in the appellation.
The winery obtains its grapes from over 100 small plots located on the Sierra de Cantabria foothills, in a triangle formed by the villages of Villabuena, Samaniego and Ábalos and whose average size is under 1,5 hectares. Some of these vines are very old and are destined for the winery's top brands, particularly Izadi Expresión (46€), which is sourced from the best plots on the best vintages. Its production is usually limited to around 3,000 bottles.
Flagship references are Izadi Crianza (8-9€), a single varietal Tempranillo, and Reserva, which was rebranded Izadi El Regalo (16€) after the 2004 vintage and is made from 60-year old Tempranillo vines (90%) and some small amounts of Graciano, Mazuelo and Garnacha. As well as a barrel-fermented white made from Viura and a little Malvasía, the winery has recently launched a rosé made from Garnacha grown at high altitude (720 metres). Known as Larrosa (6€, 18,000 bottles), the ambitiously marketed wine exhibits a Provence-style pale rose colour, a sophisticated bottle design and a floral wine (rose petals, talcum powder), vibrant acidity and good presence on the palate.The winery has an online shop.