Bodegas Ostatu is a family winery located in the heart of the Basque Rioja Alavesa region in the village of Samaniego. The Sáenz de Samaniego family has been farming in the area since the 16th century – for so many generations, in fact, that their family name and the village’s name are the same. The winery has been growing grapes for over two hundred and fifty years. The current caretakers are siblings Mariasun, Gonzalo, Iñigo, and Ernesto. The philosophy at Ostatu has been one of constant self-improvement through blending tradition, a forward-thinking approach, and perseverance.
We fight to defend a model of wine-craftsmen, linked to the vineyard and to life in the Basque villages and rural areas. Hospitality is our culture. – Mariasun Sáenz de Samaniego
First and foremost, Ostatu is known throughout the area for its exceptional old vineyards. They own 36 hectares of vineyards, divided into 50 micro plots, spread across several Rioja Alavesa villages, including Samaniego, Leza, and Laguardia. Tempranillo dominates the blend, but they also grow Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha, Viura, and Malvasia. Ostatu is "Rioja mountain wine," meaning their vineyards are located between 450-650m in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria mountain range, where they are protected from the cold northern wind.
Ostatu is part of a winegrowing tradition that has always been very environmentally friendly, a commitment that has only strengthened over time. This began with their commitment as a carbon-neutral winery through their use of green energy sources and participation in reforestation initiatives One of their great works in the last decade has been converting all 36ha of their vineyards to organic farming. Having been certified as an ecological vineyard for some years, in 2021 the entirety of Ostatu’s harvest will be certified organic. This is a monumental achievement for Ostatu, who is leading the Rioja discussion to one of vineyards and farming. Theirs is a comprehensive vision that involves caring for the earth, the environment, their heritage, and vineyards with the utmost respect.
Hailed as the star red variety in Spain’s most celebrated wine region, Tempranillo from Rioja, or simply labeled, “Rioja,” produces elegant wines with complex notes of red and black fruit, crushed rock, leather, toast and tobacco, whose best examples are fully capable of decades of improvement in the cellar.
Rioja wines are typically a blend of fruit from its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental, although specific sub-region (zonas), village (municipios) and vineyard (viñedo singular) wines can now be labeled. Rioja Alta and Alavesa, at the highest elevations, are considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier, Rioja Oriental, produce wines with deep color, great body and richness.