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Luis Valentín and Carmen Enciso worked together for a long time at Bodegas Palacio, specially during the modernisation led by Jean Gervais and consultant Michel Rolland. After the winery was sold to Hijos de Antonio Barceló, they decided to start their own project in 1998. The name of their wine is the result of joining their surnames - it had a certain ring to it.

They started by renting facilities but later built their own winery in Ollauri. They have always known the style of wine style they wanted: Valenciso Reserva (€20) comes from old Tempranillo vines planted in Rioja Alta; the estate, managed until recently under sustainable or “reasoned” viticulture practices, has converted to organic.

Apart from some grapes purchased from two growers, Valenciso work with 27 hectares divided on 17 plots around the estate in Ollauri as well as in Briones, Rodezno, Zarratón, Haro and Villalba, the coldest and highest village. They are all within a 10km radius from their winery. Half of them are their own; the rest are managed under 15-year leases with a right to buy.

A distinctive feature is the use of concrete vats that al...

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