Founded in 1987 by businessman and restaurateur Gonzalo Antón along with a group of friends from the Basque capital Vitoria, this Rioja Alavesa winery was the start of what today forms Grupo Artevino, with Bodegas Orben also in Rioja (Laguardia), Finca Villacreces (Ribera del Duero) and Bodegas Vetus (Toro).
This Villabuena-based producer obtains its grapes from over 180Ha, 100 of which are own by Izadi. All of them are 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. The triangle on their labels tries to highlight this fact.
While the Crianza (€9, 800,000 bottles) is widely available, Izadi Selección (€13, 95,000 bottles) sources grapes from the oldest vineyards with an average age of 60 years and includes 20% of Graciano alongside the prevailing Tempranillo.
El Regalo Reserva (20,000 bottles, €19) is a single vineyard red which aims to be classified as “viñedo singular” and will carry the organic seal from the 2019 vintage. Grapes are sourced from a four-hectare plot which has preserved part of the original plantings from 1936. The former owner gifted it to his wife (regalo means gift, hence the name) and their sons built afterwards a small chapel devoted to Nuestra Señora del Regalo.
In the 2013 vintage, Izadi launched Larrosa (€7, 160,000 bottles), a pale, floral, delicate, Provence-style rosé made from Garnacha grown at high altitude. This widely marketed wine which comes in a sophisticated bottle design is traditionally released on Valentine’s Day.
Whites are playing an increasingly important role in Izadi with notable changes in the 2018 vintage including the release of the single-varietal Larrosa Garnacha Blanca (€7 23,000 bottles) and the revamp or their barrel-fermented white. The new Izadi Blanco spends less time in oak and is now a multi-varietal blend including all the local white varieties grown in Rioja. With Viura accounting for over half of the blend, the rest is divided between Malvasía, Garnacha Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Maturana Blanca and Turruntés.
The release of the fresh, spicy red Larrosa Garnacha (€8.5) has completed a trilogy of this grape variety in white, rosé and red versions, all of which deliver excellent value for money.
The winery has an online shop and offers regular wine tours including a ride on electric bicycles to El Regalo vineyard for a tasting in its picturesque chapel. Driven by the owner’s passion for food, Izadi has three dining rooms open to groups of 10 people or more.