Rioja is a large region and, like
Champagne and the Douro, is dominated by a small number of very
large branded producers whose size dictates that they buy-in grapes
and bulk wine from a large number of growers and
deAlto believes that one of the
strengths of the region is the diversity and potential of its
vineyards but, by definition, large brands are not best placed to
deAlto crafts wines which we believe to be individual, pure
expressions of the Rioja Baja vineyards that we call home.
We were very lucky that the Manzanos family shared our ideals
and through that relationship, we have access to over 250 hectares
of prime Rioja vineyards from which we select only the best for
One of the traditional obstacles for any grape grower wanting to
become a winemaker in Rioja was that to become a Bodega, one had to
own a certain number of barrels. Today, the entire classification
system is based around the notion that ageing in barrels equates to
And yet some of the most beautiful wines we have tasted are those
young wines, still exuberant with fruit, freshness and energy.
Moreover, some of the most disappointing wines are those overly
oaked wines where you can barely determine the fruit that once was
deAlto is different. We start by selecting fruit in the vineyard -
pristine fruit whose attributes are perfectly aligned with the
styles of wine we love to make (and drink). Carefully picked and
sensitively vinified, we aim to preserve fruit, are not afraid of
tannin and acidity (they make wine tasty) and use oak to
complement, not swamp the fruit.
deAlto wines are released when we think you would like to drink
them, not when the authorities say that we should. As a result,
some of our best wines may not fall within the traditional Crianza,
Reserva, Gran Reserva regime.