Sierra de Toloño
- Rioja Alavesa, Rioja, Spain
High up in the foothills of the Sierra de Toloño, in Rioja Alavesa, Sandra Bravo works in some of the oldest, and highest altitude vineyards in Rioja, growing Garnacha, Tempranillo, Viura and some Graciano. In her small winery in Villabuena de Álava, where she works with steel, anforas, and old wood, this young winemaker translates the mountainous landscape into pure and expressive wines. She harvests multiple varieties from micro-terroirs over many small plots that together form a fresh, beautiful image of the area. In her own words: “I was studying Engineering and Enology in Rioja and then I was working in wineries of Bordeaux, Tuscany, New Zealand and California. When I came back to Spain, I spent 7 years in Priorat. All that experience gave me an open point of view to make different wines here in Rioja (where I come from). I have to say Priorat really influenced me to make artisanal wines, and to understand that the most important is the vineyard, the vineyard with soul.
When I came back to Rioja in 2012, I decided to make wines respecting what the vineyard give and always looking for freshness. I was in love with this area in Rioja Alavesa, calcareous soil, small plots, Mediterranean herbs and always North wind with high altitude (right in the mountain that gives my name’s project: Sierra de Toloño)... it was perfect! Because all of this my wines are really mineral.
The wines are fresh and not too oaky, I try to do minimal intervention in the cellar, then I can keep wines alive in bottle. In Rivas de Tereso (650m altitude) I have the vineyards of Sierra de Toloño (Red and White) and two more serious wines made with Tempranillo and Garnacha.