El Jardín de la Emperatriz Blanco is a Viñedo Singular Viura white wine made by Viñedos Hermanos Hernáiz (Finca La Emperatriz) under the D.O.Ca. Rioja, Spain.
Until the end of 2019, the “Finca La Emperatriz” range was made up of nine wines made with grapes from different vineyards with the same name, and when the grapes from a particular harvest ran out, the wine was no longer available. Replacing this range is a new selection of wines, including El Jardín de la Emperatriz Blanco, replacing Finca the Empress Viura Cepas Viejas and Finca la Emperatriz Terruño, which they have stopped making.
In 2019, the D.O.Ca. Rioja brought in a new geographical indication classification system that seeks to highlight the terroir in the identity of a wine and add quality. The new geographical indications are as follows: Viñedo Singular, Vinos de Municipio and Vinos de Zona.
Finca La Emperatriz is the name of a vineyard owned by Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III and Empress of France, as well as the name given by the Hernáiz Brothers to their first winemaking project when they acquired the estate in 1996.
Finca La Emperatriz has the Viñedo Singular certification, which is given to small, old plots with limited but high quality production and which, in summary, must comply with a series of strict standards to prove their quality. This is the highest of the three certifications.
El Jardín de la Emperatriz Blanco is made with clusters from the Finca La Emperatriz viñedo singular plots where the vines have an average age of sixty years old and the soils are composed of white boulders over a sandy-loam structure. This land gives the vines good drainage and a limited supply of nutrients.
The harvest is carried out manually. When the grapes reach the winery, they are gently pressed in an inert atmosphere and then the must macerates with the pulp at a temperature of 8oC for two days. It is racked using gravity to begin fermentation under controlled temperatures of 15o. Once alcoholic fermentation has finished, the resulting wine rests with its fine lees for two months.
Bodegas La Emperatriz is now known as Viñedos Hermanos Hernáiz. This new era reflects the new focus of Eduardo and Víctor Hernáiz, who work according to the same philosophy they have since they took over Finca La Emperatriz, but now with the aim of breathing new life into their wines, allowing them to recover the essence of the estate.