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About Ermita

Bodegas Santalba, a family-owned winery, honors the time-honored traditions of La Rioja while incorporating contemporary agricultural and winemaking practices. With 20 hectares of certified organic vines and select local sites, they craft quintessential Rioja wines from Tempranillo and natural wines from other indigenous varieties. The winery is currently under the stewardship of Santiago and his son Roberto Ijalba, marking three generations of family landownership. Santiago's father once grew vines for renowned Rioja estates, but Santiago was driven to produce his own label.

In 1998, he founded Bodegas Santalba in Gimileo, near Haro, by merging his name with his family's surname. Santiago and Roberto now jointly guide the winery's direction, with Santiago focusing on elegance and balance, and Roberto on achieving intensity without heaviness, striving for the purest expression of Tempranillo. Together, they craft Rioja Crianzas, Reservas, and Gran Reservas that unfold with complexity, employing traditional methods like prolonged aging and manual barrel-to-barrel racking. They also embrace innovative techniques to cultivate other native varieties, create single-vineyard wines, and continuously research to enhance the antioxidants in their grapes.

Santalba is committed to biodiversity and soil health, eschewing systemic products across their vineyards, which include vines over 90 years old. Their wines are vegan certified by the EU's V-Label. While not all grapes are grown on their estate, Santalba meticulously selects external sources, favoring family-run vineyards within a short tractor ride from their base. They are dedicated to finding creative ways to apply their deep winemaking heritage, regardless of the grape source.

Additional Details:

  • Producer: Bodegas Santalba
  • Varietals: Tempranillo, Grenache, Viura, Malvasia Riojana
  • Labor Practices: Bodegas Santalba relies on local families from their village to provide labor during the harvest season.
  • Organic Practice Certificates: Bodegas Santalba holds prestigious organic certifications, ensuring their commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. They are certified organic by CPAER ES-ECO-035-RI, the esteemed organic certification body in Spain. This accreditation serves as a testament to their dedication to producing high-quality, organic wines while minimizing their environmental impact and promoting responsible agriculture.
  • Sustainable Practices: Santalba meticulously monitors and nurtures their vineyards, carefully selecting grapes from the finest 'terroirs' within the prestigious Rioja D.O.Ca. appellation. They harmonize traditional Rioja winemaking methods with modern techniques, creating a sustainable and efficient production process. Prioritizing quality over quantity, Santalba avoids over-exploitation of resources, maintaining a balance between producing exceptional wines and minimizing their environmental footprint.
  • Vegan Process Certificates: European Vegetarian Union V-label Certified
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  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Rioja
  • Sub Region: Rioja Alta

Organic Practices

Sustainably Farmed

Vegan Process