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Bodegas Altanza: aiming high

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In challenging times this winery has resolutely focused on three new projects that help to maintain its reputation as a driving force on the Sherry scene

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen countless business plans placed on hold. Bodegas Altanza however has navigated through these unimagined times and achieved a trio of goals. These were: the reimagining of the Altanza brand; the inclusion of the fifth Spanish Artist Collection Rioja Sorolla 2010 in Tim Atkin MW’s Rioja 2021 Special Report among the Red Rioja Reserva Wines of the Year; and the opening of Galería del Jerez, a sherry centre and museum in Jerez de la Frontera.

The relaunch of the Altanza line absorbed the Lealtanza cuvees and entailed a bold contemporary redesign with new bottles and labels. David Sáez de Ojer Tobalina, general director, believes the new identity reflects Altanza today: ‘Bodegas Altanza has always been our name,’ he says. ‘It was created by our founders – a group of friends who started this winery from scratch – and we don’t need a different “surname” in our wines. It comes from the Spanish word for high – alta – with the Latin suffix anza which denotes the action of going up or looking for the best.’

The prestigious Artists Collection series, a rare release which taps into Spain’s artistic heritage, represents the apex of Bodegas Altanza’s wines. ‘We have some of the most famous artists of all time, and we understand that making wine is an art,’ states Sáez de Ojer Tobalina. ‘We only produce this wine in outstanding years and there must be a connection between the wine and the artist’s styles. Sorolla 2010 is our fifth (after Miró 2001, Dalí 2004, Gaudí 2005 and Goya 2008) and there is an underlying elegance, balance, freshness and peace connecting the wine with the three Sorolla paintings chosen for the labels.’

Altanza sherry

Finally, with its 6,500 items and over 1,000 old bottles, Bodegas Altanza’s Roberto Amillo collection in the Galería del Jerez chronicles three centuries of sherry and brandy production. It is the world’s largest exhibition of this type. ‘It’s unique for Jerez de la Frontera,’ says Sáez de Ojer Tobalina. ‘It allows sherry lovers to enjoy our amazing Colección Roberto Amillo – including its 40- to 100-year-old sherries – in a magical atmosphere while learning more about this passionate world.’

Galeria del Jerez Sherry centre interior

‘These were very challenging projects even without Covid around,’ he continues. ‘When the pandemic arose, we remained enthusiastic and optimistic which was vital. We don’t know when or if Covid will disappear, but we are committed to the finest quality in our wines and Bodegas Altanza will remain strong throughout.’

Galeria del Jerez Sherry centre entrance

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