Located in Oyón (Alava), the El Coto de Rioja winery began at the beginning of the 70s, specializing in the production of Riojan wine. The vineyards that are found in la Rioja Alta have clayey soil, which is very favourable to the production of wines. Today, El Coto de Rioja is recognised as one of the leading wineries in the Spanish market.
El Coto de Rioja winery was founded in 1970 by a group of prestigious people who had experienced the viticulture sector under the protection of the Industrial Bankunión bank, however they did not begin to sell their first vintage until five years later, and after that the wine began its optimum development.
In 1978, Don Eduardo Santos Ruiz, a young director from the Bankunión bank, became president and CEO of the group. Thanks to him, the importance of the El Coto de la Rioja winery increased so much so, that when Bankunión sold the winery to a multinational group, Bass, they offered to follow command.
Don Eduardo Santos Ruiz began, at the same time, his own business with the production of wines in Rioja Baja, totally different from El Coto de la Rioja, under the name of Barón de Ley in 1985. Five years later the Bass group decided to buy the hotel group, Holiday Inn, and in order to do this, they decided to sell El Coto de la Rioja. At this moment, Don Eduardo and the venture capital firm Mercapital, acquired the winery through Barón de Ley.
In the nineties, they became a leading winery in the Denomination of Origin Calificada Rioja. In 1997, they became the first wine producing Spanish group on the stock market.
Actually, El Coto de Rioja is a relatively young winery that is already a leading winery in Rioja, in the national market as well as the international market; it is present in up to 50 countries.
THE PHILOSOPHY OF THEIR WORK
El Coto de Rioja winery own more than 500 hectares of vineyards divided between Rioja Alavesa, Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja. Apart from their own vineyards, they work with growers throughout Rioja, bringing together more than 1000 hectares of vineyards. Thanks to the growers, they are able to produce wines with typical characteristics from each subzone in Rioja.
At El Coto de Rioja they are very aware that the wine starts at the vineyard, and for them the vines are a priority, taking rigorous control of the vines from the beginning with a selection of the plots. The entire process is carried out thanks to modern resources combined with Riojan traditions.
The selection of plots is done by returning the vines to their place of origin: the hill. Planting is done by GPS, choosing the best orientation. In addition, there is a selection of varieties depending on the climate and soil on each farm, aided by their own Oenology department.
Planting trellis helps improve photosynthesis, which makes the bunches lift off the ground and therefore avoids moisture problem. Additionally, they use clones of low production for new plantations.
This winery produces mainly red wines, which are raised in oak barrels. In fact, the casks are some of the largest in Denomination of Origin Rioja. They have about 70,000 barrels with an average age of about 3 years.
WINES FROM THE EL COTO DE RIOJA WINERY
The El Coto de Rioja winery stands out for its production of great red wines where its leading variety from the area, Tempranillo, is accompanied sometimes by other Riojan varieties.
Coto Mayor Crianza, a red wine made totally from Tempranillo and it has spent 12 months aging in the barrel.
Coto de Imaz Reserva is a traditional reserva that is very likable and whose 2008 vintage was rated as "Very Good"
Coto de Imaz Gran Reserva, an excellent wine made from 100% Tempranillo and received more than 90 parker points and Guía Peñín points.
Coto Real Reserva, another great red wine made from Tempranillo and also from Mazuelo and Garnacha Tinta from very old vineyards in Rioja Alta.