The old Garnacha vines are one of the jewels in our crown at La Emperatiz Estate; they are found in one of the stoniest and poorest areas on our estate: plot no.5.
When we acquired the estate, we decided to maintain them – contrary to the general trend to replace them with Tempranillo, the chief variety in the appellation. In this way, we were choosing to revitalise the cultivation of a variety that has over the last few decades been unfairly undervalued.
In 2005, Eduardo Hernáiz started a project to launch a single-grape wine using the Garnachas Viejas from the estate; following a small trial that year, this wine was produced for the first time in 2007 and has appeared every year since – with the exception of 2008 when the cold climatic conditions meant it was impossible to achieve the optimum degree of fermentation.
Wines such as our Finca La Emperatriz Garnacha Cepas Viejas 2010 – a favourite among consumers and critics alike (with 93 Parker points and 94 Peñín Guide points) – have returned the Garnacha from Rioja to its deserved place, with its dignity restored and its status higher than ever.