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D.O.: D.O.Ca. Rioja
Carlos San Pedro, the owner and technical director of Bodegas y Viñedos Pujanza, comes from a family of viticulturers, winemakers and wine merchants of Laguardia. Pujanza is his most personal project. A desire that was born in his childhood, and that has taken shape over the years, until it finally became a splendid reality. In 1998, Carlos already had 15 hectares of vineyard, and he decided to make his first vintage on his own, his first Pujanza.
History of the winery
In 1998, he started the project Bodegas y Viñedos Pujanza, producing a single wine in this first vintage: Pujanza. The winery is located in the municipality of Laguardia, in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, at the foot of Sierra de Cantabria. It is surrounded by its most characteristic farms, in an area where altitude is the limit for the cultivation of the vines. It is a unique place from where we can contemplate a beautiful view of the hillsides of Laguardia, and where we can witness the evolution of the vineyard throughout the year. The mountain range Sierra de Cantabria acts as the northern limit of the denomination, and also as a natural barrier for the towns and crops of this area, leading to exceptional weather conditions for the vineyards.
While the facilities were built, the wines were produced in the family winery, until in 2001 the first harvest was vinified in the new winery. It is a simple building, with a good size and designed mainly for the efficiency and comfort of daily work. It is crowned by a tower/viewpoint where they have installed a tasting room. Here you can enjoy a 360 view of the vineyard, the Sierra de Cantabria, and the eastern wall of Laguardia.
Some of the farms that Pujanza currently comes from already belonged to the family of Carlos San Pedro, such as Finca La Valcabada, origin of Pujanza Cisma. Others have been acquired over the years. Today, the winery has 40 hectares of vineyards, which they use to make all their wines. All the vineyards are located in the municipality of Laguardia, in the surroundings of the winery. In all of them, they cultivate Tempranillo, except in a very special vineyard where they cultivate Viura to make their only white wine, Añadas Frías. Among their farms, worth mentioning is the one in Valdepoleo, planted in 1973, with a surface area of 17.5 hectares, an average altitude of 630 metres, and clayey-calcareous soil. It has an approximate yield of 4,500 kg/ha. Every year, they carry out a precise parcelling process following orographic criteria.
Another of their farms is Norte, with a vineyard located at 720 metres of altitude. It is probably one of the highest vineyards of D.O.Ca. Rioja. It was planted in 1991, and it has clayey-calcareous soils placed on a slab of limestone (50 cm deep). This vineyard has 2.7 hectares and an approximate yield of 3,500 kg/ha. La Finca La Valcabada was planted in 1925, and it has a surface area of 0.8 hectares. It is located at 600 metres of altitude, with deep clayey soils, and a mainly sandy texture. This farm is planted with ungrafted Tempranillo, which makes it even more special. However, its yield is very low, approximately 1,500 kg/ha. Another of their farms is San Juan de Anteportalatina, with a vineyard planted in 1989. It has 1.5 hectares and is at an altitude of 600 metres, with clayey-calcareous soils and a high content of lime.
The winery’s philosophy has been quite clear since the beginning: the wine is made in the vineyard. This is why the winery’s major effort is concentrated in the vineyard, with the knowledge and understanding of each one of their farms, since all the grapes used for Pujanza come from their own vineyards. Through reasoned viticulture, respectful with the vineyard itself, and with the surroundings, they try to obtain the best from each vineyard, grapes of the highest quality, and the most representative ones from each terroir.
During the month prior to the harvest, they carry out continuous sampling of each plot to learn about the evolution of the ripening of the grapes and thus decide the optimal harvest time. All the harvesting is carried out by hand in 20-kg boxes. This way, the grapes arrive at the winery in the best possible conditions. During the collection, they also select the bunches, leaving on the plant those that do not meet the required parameters for production.
If necessary, once they arrive at the winery they carry out a second selection of the bunches on a selection table. However, this operation is not that usual thanks to the good health of the bunches and the appropriate selection in the vineyard.
On another note, the production follows traditional methods, but with an exhaustive control of the different processes. The fermentations take place in 15,000-litre stainless steel deposits, except for Pujanza Cisma and Añadas Frías, which are fermented in 1,700-litre deposits with walls covered with oak, and in two 225- and 500-litre barrels, respectively. The key during this process is to carry out a careful control of timing and temperatures for each of the deposits. Their aim is to preserve the quality and the personality they have achieved in the vineyard.
All Pujanza wines are aged in barrels for a minimum of 12 months. To do so, they only use barrels made of French oak from the best forests. Although they do not have a large barrel stock, they like to work with different cooperages to give their wines a subtle and elegant complexity that accompanies the most primary personality achieved in the vineyard.
As during the production, the continuous tasting of the different barrels is their best weapon to follow the evolution of the wines and make the right decisions at the right time.
Wines from Pujanza
Below is a list of the wines produced by the winery Pujanza:
Pujanza “Finca Valdepoleo” is born from a vineyard where, each year, they carry out precise parcelling work following orographic criteria. After many tests, the wine from this farm was created in the 2011 vintage. It is always a limited production wine, in the search for it to be unique and unrepeatable in each of its vintages. The fermentation is carried out in small stainless steel deposits, differentiated by type of soil. The malolactic fermentation was performed in the same deposits. Then, it was aged for 14 months in French oak barrels. A mature and fresh wine, modern, with a lot of fruit, and very expressive.
Pujanza “Hado” is born from the farm Finca La Lobera, at a minimum altitude of 600 metres, with clayey-calcareous soils. Fermentation is carried out in stainless steel deposits at a temperature of 24ºC to 26ºC with daily pump overs. The malolactic fermentation is carried out in the same deposits. Then, it is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels. On the nose, it is clean, with a medium intensity, red berries, black seasoned fruit, with a light fresh note of plants, and toasted nuances. In the mouth, it is pleasant, juicy, varietal and fresh.
Pujanza “Norte” is born from the farm Finca Norte, at 720 metres of altitude, with clayey-calcareous soils and limestone slab (50 cm deep). The farm has 2.7 hectares and an approximate yield of 3,500 kg/ha. The alcoholic and malolactic fermentation take place in stainless steel deposits. After this, the wine ages for 16 months in French oak barrels. A complex, fine aroma of ripe fruit and noticeable floral nuances. Balsamic and mineral, with fine woods, spicy touches, peat, and a background of ink. In the mouth, it is structured, fresh, elegant, and expressive, with fruity and toasted nuances.
Pujanza “Cisma” is born from the farm Finca La Valcabada, planted in 1925, with clayey, deep soils. It has 0.8 hectares and is located at 600 metres of altitude. The production is carried out in a 1700-kg French oak deposit with destemmed grapes. Then it is aged for 22 months in French oak barrels. It has an intense and complex aroma, with a lot of ripe red and black fruit, fine toast, spices, and balsamic and mineral nuances. In the mouth, it is ample, tasty, with a very good acidity, structured, with tannins of great quality. It is powerful and elegant.
Pujanza “Añadas Frías” is made with Viura from the farm San Juan de Anteportalatina, with 1.5 hectares and located at 600 metres of altitude. It has clayey-calcareous soils and a high content of lime. The production is carried out in new 225- and 500-litre French oak barrels. The ageing lasts 6 more months in the same barrels. Añadas Frías is a special wine they make every year. However, it has only been on the market twice, in 2007 and 2010. It is a fresh, elegant wine, rich in nuances and honest in aromas: fine herbs, notes of ripe fruit, lactic touches and elegant smoked notes. With body, a slightly glyceric structure that enhances the flavours, and a lively acidity that keeps it very fresh.
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