Bodegas Ortega Ezquerro
Based in the village of Tudelilla in the Rioja Baja area, this bodega was founded in 1896 by Quintin Ortega, a local cooper. It is now run by his great-grandson, Carmelo Ortega, assisted by winemaker David Bastida. The ancient vines (some original plantings made by Quintin) are goblet pruned and only organic fertilizers are used. All harvesting is by hand, and traditional winemaking techniques are followed, using a mixture of French and American oak barrels for ageing. The soils of Tudelilla are calcareous clay and are of poor fertility, making them ideal for fine wine production. But what makes the village stand out is the Pedriza, an area of around 700 hectares which is covered in large flat stones, similar to the galets found in Châteauneuf-du-Pâpe. These help control temperatures and moisture in the vineyards and, combined with the ancient vines planted on these soils, give wines with a strong identity.