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Izadi: The authentic – and unexpected – side of Rioja

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A project focused on bringing the character of Rioja Alavesa’s oldest vineyards and indigenous varieties to the forefront.

In 1987, at the age of 37, entrepreneur Gonzalo Antón decided that, alongside a group of like-minded friends, he would create an innovative wine project in Rioja. And thus Izadi was born. Building on his experience in hospitality and gastronomy, and fascinated with the incredible – and untapped – potential of Rioja’s many terroirs, Antón wanted to approach the region from a different angle. Instead of seeking a defined style, Izadi focused on bringing the character of Rioja Alavesa’s oldest vineyards and indigenous varieties to the forefront.

Strong values

35 years on, and now with Lalo Antón, Gonzalo’s son, at the helm, Izadi remains a family-owned, boutique winery, championing Rioja’s vocation to produce authentic, terroir-expressive wines made for the pleasures of the table. Today, as at its inception, Izadi’s core values still prevail: sensitivity, hospitality, respect and restlessness.

These are translated into an extreme attention to detail, an absolute respect for nature and a constant will to research and innovate, while keeping the link between food and wine always in mind. Gonzalo and Lalo firmly believe that this is the essence of wine culture itself: sharing a delectable meal with friends and creating collective memories that draw a direct link between the vines, the landscape of Rioja and the lives of those who enjoy a bottle of Izadi.

In the winery, these values are translated into an extreme attention to detail, an absolute respect for nature and a constant will to research and innovate, whilst always keeping the link between food and wine in mind. Sustainable practices reveal Izadi’s true respect for its environment – something at its very core, as the winery’s name literally means ‘nature’. Demonstrating its commitment to the land, Izadi holds the Wineries for Climate Protection certification, a pioneering international benchmark in sustainability best-practices for the wine sector, created by the Spanish Wine Federation (Federación Española del Vino – FEV).

The essence of Rioja

The wine that perhaps best represents the company’s ethos is Izadi Selección, both in its red and white declinations. The Izadi Selección Tinto combines fruit selected from 40 hectares of the best low-yielding, bush-trained vines within the triangle defined by the villages of Villabuena de Álava, Samaniego and Ábalos. A Tempranillo-based blend aged for 16 months in barriques, it captures the character of the vineyards that inspired the creation of the Izadi project in the first place. Its white counterpart, on the other hand, reflects the constant yearning to explore and delve deeper into the viticultural heritage of Rioja. Izadi Selección Blanco is the only white Rioja produced from the region’s six indigenous white varieties: Viura, Garnacha Blanca, Maturana Blanca, Tempranillo Blanco, Malvasía and Turruntés. Hailing from old bush-trained vineyards in Villabuena de Álava, the wine’s poise, texture and robust elegance truly convey the essence and history of the region.

It’s the ability to interpret a precious viticultural lineage in a way that invites sophisticated enjoyment that drives the Izadi project forward; a daring proposition that might surprise but never disappoints.

Izadi Selección Tinto DOCa. Rioja
85% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 2% Maturana Tinta y 1% Garnacha Tinta.
The fruit from old bush-trained vines is harvested manually and fermented in stainless steel. The wine is then aged for 16 months in oak (75% French, 25% American, both new and second-use). The result is a wine with a layered aromatic profile with toasted nuts and sweet spice underpinned by earthy wet leaves and forest floor. Succulent and intense in the mouth, with silky tannins. Lingering flavours of mature red fruit, with a smoky lining.

Izadi Selección Blanco DOCa. Rioja
60% Viura, 10% Garnacha Blanca, 10% Maturana Blanca, 10% Tempranillo Blanco, 5% Malvasía y 5% Turruntés
A complex and fascinating blend that evokes Rioja’s ancestral, somewhat lost traditions. Fruit from recovered old vines was harvested by hand and co-fermented, partially in French oak, shaping a complex wine with aromas of white orchard fruit and fresh citrus, topped by floral, spicy and exotic fruit notes. The textural and refreshing palate has a fine acid line and a good fruit core, echoing the nose’s orchard fruit and citrus. Touches of white flowers and toast add nuance.

Discover more about Bodegas Izadi

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