Finca Allende | Rioja Alta, Spain
Finca Allende is a Rioja estate created by brother and sister team, Mercedes and Miguel Angel de Gregorio, and is located in the hill town of Briones in the Rioja Alta. 'Allende' can be roughly translated as 'further'; its philosophy is to go further and further towards creating the perfect Rioja.
Miguel Angel’s aim, when settling in Briones in 1986, was to support the making of terroir-based wines. So rather than sourcing grapes from various areas he decided to patiently invest time and energy in finding small old vineyards that he could buy. Today, his 56 hectare domain is divided into 92 plots representing no less than a dozen different terroirs.
Tempranillo is the main variety in Allende’s reds, more specifically a multi-clonal selection of old vines producing smaller grapes with more fruit intensity and complexity. Miguel-Angel is also a zealous defender of the traditional Rioja white varieties such as Viura and Malvasia, used to great effects for his white wines.
Miguel-Angel’s determination ensured that after a running battle with the local Consejo Regulador he was able to mention specific terroir-based wine on his labels. Thus, whilst the Tinto Allende is made of grapes all coming from within the Briones village, 1996 saw the release of Finca Allende’s first single vineyard wine named Aurus. In 1999, saw the creation of Calvario, another single vineyard wine produced from vines planted in 1945. Stylistically different, both are Miguel-Angel’s flagship wines and a testimony to his understanding of the Briones terroirs. The white equivalent is the high profile single vineyard Martires, a 100% Viura produced on more sandy loamy soils with high mineral content.