The world-famous Rioja wine region lies in northern Spain, on both sides of the River Ebro and to the south of the Cantabrian mountains. The denominacion (appellation) It is divided into three large zones: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental.
The protection of the mountains, the altitude, the terroir, and the convergence of two climates as different as the Atlantic and the Mediterranean make Rioja Alavesa a special place for making wines of true class and distinctiveness. Here, terraced vineyards spreading over a range of altitudes and exposures have been home to many wine-making businesses but one particular family stands out – over several generations this forward-looking family has refused to turn its back on the best traditions honed over centuries.
In the small town of Samaniego, the Sáenz de Samaniego family has been crafting wine since the 16th century. Here you sense that you are no longer part of the vast southern region of Castilla Y Leon but part of the northern Basque Country. The local people here are intensely proud of their local roots and Gonzalo is no exception. He is one of the sons running the company whilst also remaining closely involved in the local and regional political arena
Their 36 hectares of vineyards have been certified in the ENEEK (ecological vineyard) register and are divided into 50 microplots located primarily in Samaniego, mostly lying on calcareous clay soils.
Ostatu, the Basque name of the winery, refers to sentiments including - host, hospice, hospitality, hostel, hotel, and stems from the Latin word hospitum meaning place of rest where frequent visitors were provided with care. This was, in fact, the very purpose of the winery manor house when it was built in the 18th century. It served as a boarding house for pilgrims on the way to Santiago di Compostela. Today with its beautiful tasting room the Samaniego family carry on this tradition of hospitality by sharing their elegant Rioja wines with wine lovers the world over.