Bodegas Beronia is quintessentially Rioja. Its wines are defined by the region and the soils in which the vines are grown, and its name linked to the history of the land where the winery is found. In the 3rd Century BC the area known as Rioja today was inhabited by a celtic tribe called the ‘Berones’. They inhabited the towns of Tricio, Varea and Leiva, marking the limits of the Berones region, today La Rioja. The founding ethos of Beronia is strongly allied to the origins of La Rioja.
Beronia was founded in 1973 by a group of businessmen, friends from the Basque country who would come to La Rioja on holiday. The friends had a great love of food and wine and created their own gastronomic society , or txoko as it is called locally, in the area. They decided, to produce their own wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva style wines. The winery was integrated into the González Byass Family of Wine group in 1982 and began an expansion into international markets. Today Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both in international and domestic markets, producing pure and traditional Rioja wines with their own personality and Beronia style.
The region of Rioja is situated in the valley of Ebro, limited to the north by the Cantabria mountain range and to the south by the Demanda range, creating a unique enclave for the production of high quality wines. The Rioja DOCa is the most well known in Spain and includes 63.593 hectares of vineyard.
The valley of Rioja owes its name to the river Ojo (rio Oja in Spanish) and is divided into three subregions:
Bodegas Beronia is situated in the village of Ollauri, in the heart of Rioja Alta. The area has a number of different micro-climates depending on the orientation of the vineyard and the protection from the winds from the Ebro valley. The soils have a balanced structure of sand, sediments and clay, with low alkalinity and little organic material, making them ideal for the production of quality winesRioja’s winters are cold with snow in January, while summers are mild. The rainfall is modest and dispersed throughout the whole year (600l/m2). The climate, the protection from the Atlantic influence and the richness of the minerals from the river Ebro, make Rioja an ideal area for the cultivation vines.
Beronia produces wine from almost 900 hectares of vineyards in prime Rioja Alta sites surrounding the winery The average age of these vines is 30 years, but
a 50 hectares of more than 60 year old vines give superb intensity and richness of fruit character.
Rioja is characterised by hundreds of small, individually owned vineyard parcels. The long standing relationships between the winery and growers is nurtured to ensure that only the very best quality fruit is supplied. Beronia’s winemaker, Matias Calleja, personally supervises the vineyards throughout the year, and carefully selects the best vineyard plots for each of his wines.
The vineyards surrounding the winery include pre-phylloxera vineyards of more than 100 years old, vineyards that were planted when the winery was constructed in 1973, more than 40 years ago and new vineyards planted in 2011.
Only a limited number of grape varieties are authorised to make Rioja’s wines. More than 85% of Beronia’s vineyards are planted with Tempranillo, the most traditional variety in Rioja, while the balance is made up of Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Viura.
Totally committed to protecting the environment, Beronia uses sustainable farming techniques and the most environmentally friendly techniques during the vinification process. Beronia produces an organic wine, 100% Tempranillo, using fruit sourced from vineyards which are registered to the CRAE guaranteeing organic viticulture Recycling by-products, purification of waste water, waste management, reduction of energy consumption and environmentally friendly packaging are also of great importance.
Beronia, loyal to its tradition, produces a Classic Line which defines the Beronia Style including three young wines, white Viura, rosé Tempranillo and red Tempranillo. In addition to Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva.
In line with its innovative character Beronia also produces a modern single variety range; Beronia Colección which includes a Barrel Fermented Viura, Graciano, Special Production Tempranillo and Mazuelo Reserva. This Mazuelo is the only Mazuelo of Reserva category to be produced in Rioja. This range is complemented by a range of Icon wines including Beronia 198 Barricas Reserva, a special selection only produced in the best vintages, Beronia IIIac, a wine of high expression which pays homage to the celtic tribe the berones from the 3rd centry BC, and Beronia Viñas Viejas, a winemaker’s selection produced from the best Tempranillo grapes from the oldest vineyards planted when the winery was founded.
95% of the wines produced in Beronia are red with a clear devotion to long ageing in French oak, American oak and mixed barrels.These pioneering mixed barrels created by winemaker Matias Calleja are made up of American staves and French tops.
Beronia has nearly 30.000 barrels which are housed in an underground cellar with natural temperature and humidity giving the ideal conditions for the ageing of wine. The average age of the barrels used in Beronia is 4 years and the wines are decanted every four months. The majority of wines are then aged in bottle which refines the wines and gives them balance.
After more than 30 years of dedication and passion for his work and following many different roles in Bodegas Beronia, Matias Calleja became Technical Director in 1996. Thanks to his experience, the work of his technical team and his ambition he has become the soul of Bodegas Beronia. Matias has transmitted his personality to the wines as he personally determines the exact coupage of each wine depending on the maturation and quality given by each vintage thus giving a unique character called Beronia Style. His philosophy is based on quality, respect for the environment and the challenge of combining the purest Rioja style with an innovative spirit.
The role of oak in the Beronia style is very important and much has been invested in how the wines, once in barrel, react to different levels of toasting and types of wood. The type of oak used does not only affect flavours and tannin profile of the resulting wine, but also colour and texture. These experiments have led Beronia to be pioneers in the use of mixed barrels: Barrels with American oak staves and French oak ends, lending greater complexity and creating the typical ‘Beronia Style’.
American Oak staves: American oak is not typically distinguished by forest, but grown in 18 different states, mostly in the Midwest and in the Appalachians, as well as in Oregon. American oak is less porous than French oak and can be sawn whilst French oak must be hand split. American oak therefore yields more staves making it less expensive. As to their impact on the wine, American barrels tend to be more intense giving “oaky” flavours such as vanilla, cinnamon, coconut and patisserie aromas in general.
French oak ends: We work mainly with oak from Allier and Limousin, which are known for their particularly fine-grained oak. In general French oak is more porous and releases more tannins into the wine. It is known for giving more subtle and pungent spicy notes like clove and black pepper. Wines aged in French oak are often found to have balsamic flavours and silkier textures.
We feel that by ageing our wines in mixed barrels rather than blending wines matured in different types of oak, the aromas are better married with each other and the wines are seamless and rounded.