Established in 2003, Hacienda López de Haro is the flagship winery of the Vintae group. It is named after the owner of the first significant vineyard purchased by the Arambarri family, owners of Vintae. López de Haro was a dynasty of wealthy men, many of whom were lords of Vizcaya, in the Basque Country (the main street in Bilbao is called Gran Vía de Don Diego López de Haro). However, it was not until 2006 that the Arambarris built their own winery. The chosen site was not the family village but one with greater prestige: San Vicente de la Sonsierra.
From the very beginning, Vintae was inspired by the classic wines of Rioja, but with a modern, 21st century approach. Backed by a strong marketing plan and a bold and innovative communication strategy, the company's efforts focused on recovering the imagery of historic riojas to create good-value-for-money wines that would appeal to a wide range of consumers. The winery itself, built in San Vicente de la Sonsierra in 2006, resembles the region's traditional buildings.
The vineyards, both theirs and those from their suppliers, are primarily found in two areas: the Sonsierra, the strip of vineyards on the northern bank of the Ebro river on the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria, from Briñas to Laguardia and Elvillar; and the Najerilla valley, on the southern bank, where the Arambarri family comes from.
Hacienda López de Haro produces around one million bottles distributed in two different brands: López de Haro and Classica, the new range focused on premium Gran Reserva wines.
The core of the López de Haro range are the three reds sold with the traditional ageing categories in Rioja: Crianza (€7.5 in Spain), Reserva (€11) and a Gran Reserva (€17.5). The latter is aged well beyond official ageing requirements -it usually spends 30 months in barrels plus four years in bottle prior to its release. There is also a 100% Tempranillo aged for six months in oak (€6.50), a white Viura blend that spends three months in barrels (€5.90) and a clarete-style rosé (€6.90) made from Garnacha and Viura. Also in the range are López de Haro Edición Limitada (€12), from selected Tempranillo vineyards in San Vicente de la Sonsierra plus a bit of Mazuelo, and López de Haro 30 Barricas (€32), a blend of Tempranillo from the Sonsierra and Garnacha from the Najerilla valley that is aged in barrels for 30 months.
Further up in quality, Classica focuses exclusively on extended ageing Gran Reserva wines from outstanding vintages that have been kept aside in the cellar. The range covers all styles: white, rosé (the 2009 vintage was aged for up to four years in barrel and blends Viura and Garnacha from the Alto Najerilla valley) and reds. Retail prices for each of the wines in the range is about €47.
The winery's communication strategy is laidback and consumer-friendly, with a special focus on young audiences. Hence the entertaining style of its wine tourism programme, inviting visitors to taste wine straight from the barrel, pair wines with the classic chuletillas al sarmiento -the region's delicious roasted baby lamb chops-, or to have a drink on the terrace while listening to live music.
The wines are available at the bodegas’s online store