To talk about The Bodegas Faustino is to refer to a long family that over generations has dedicated itself to the world of wine. The winery is one of the few family wineries that is still in the hands of the descendants of the founder, and is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the same family. The Faustino winery is also part of the elite group of century old wineries in La Rioja, it is one of the largest in La Rioja, and is one of the most important wineries in Spain. Although regardless of their size, they have not put quantity over quality, with their vast range of wines receiving acclaim, obtaining numerous awards on a national and international level.
The Bodegas Faustino is part of The Faustino Group, which has grown and settled in some of the most prestigious wine making regions in Spain. The Faustino Group also includes: the Campillo and Marqués de Vitoria wineries, both in La Rioja; The Leganza winery, located in LA Mancha; Valcarlos, situated in Navarra; The Portia winery, located in the Ribera del Duero; and the Victorianas in Oyón. The group is currently home to more than 1,500 hectares of vineyards and about 90,000 barrels, with twelve million bottles in stock. 55% of the company’s stock is sold outside of Spain across 93 countries.
History of the Winery
The Bodegas Faustino is one of the oldest in Spain. Its history of wine production dates all the way back to 1861, when was established by Eleuterio Martinez Arzok when he purchased the palace and vineyards of the Marques del Pierto.At the beginning, the company focused of producing bulk wine, selling it mainly to the Basque Country and La Rioja. It wasn´t until 1930 that the company started bottling its wines.
It was then in 1957, when Julio Faustino Martinez (the grandson of the founder) became head of the company and launched Faustino as an international brand. Ever since, reform and innovation have been constant. Their vast range of wines are all made following the same principles: a careful selection of the fruit used and production carried out combining traditional and innovative techniques. Currently, The Bodegas Faustino is home to modern technology, and boasts over 50,000 barrels of American and French oak. The winery also have the capacity to have over nine million bottles in permanent stock.
In addition, the winery also owns over 650 hectares of vineyards located in Laguardia. Logroño, Mendavia and Oyón. Nearly all of their vineyards lie on calcareous-clay soils and grow at least one of the following varieties: Tempranillo, Graciano, Mazuelo and Viura, which makes way for superb Reservas and Gran Reservas, a specialty of the winery. In fact, for every 100 Gran Reservas made in Rioja, 27 are Faustino I.
The timing of the harvest is extremely important in the winemaking process. The harvest is carried out manually, with the fruits being picked bunch by bunch. The oldest vines receive special treatment, with the most experienced grape pickers visiting the plot up to three times, picking only the ripest grapes.
In recent years, there have been incorporating new viticulture practices that respect the environment and make our vineyards increasingly sustainable. Among others, precision viticulture in order to analyse the evolution of different areas in the same plot and act accordingly, disc harrow (makes the grass that is removed from the vineyard to join it again to the earth and become compost, favouring the natural cycle), incorporation of alternative treatments for plant protection products (sexual confusion and alternative compounds).
Another interesting fact is that the winemakers at Faustino travel every year to the United States in search of the best wood for their barrels, since every year the winery renews 17% of their 51,000 barrels, of which 1/3 are French oak and the other 2/3 American oak.
The Bodegas Faustino is committed to the respect for nature and the environment. Proof of this, is the certification given by AENOR of eight wines of six wineries, in four denominations of origin that Faustino Group has obtained. It is the first Spanish group of wineries getting this certification, confirming the group’s commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, through all the phases of the life cycle of the wines.
This calculation of the carbon footprint represents the description and calculation of the total amount of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. With this information is possible to identify cost saving opportunities, implement emissions reduction policies more effective and better targeted savings initiatives, demonstrating thus their commitment to corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability. AENOR is funded by the Basque government and has analysed all phases of the life cycle of the eight wines certificates: collection phase, design phase, phase distribution and sales, product consumption phase, and finally, end of life phase.
With this recognition, the Group remains committed to its commitment to the respect for nature and the environment. Previously, had already developed environmental projects to improve efficiency in water management, integrated production in the vineyard, reducing energy consumption, and selective waste management.
Although the Faustino wines are known for their Reserva and Gran Reserva red wines, the winery also produces white and rosé wines as well as Cavas to the same high standard the has helped the winery gain it´s prestigious reputation.
Among the red wines produced at the winery includes his collection of Special Editions with Faustino Reserve Special Edition, made with 100% Tempranillo grapes and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels. Another special edition wine is the Faustino de Autor Reserva Especial, a blend of Tempranillo (90%) and Graciano (10%), and aged for 24 months in oak. Then there is the Faustino 9 mil Reserva Especial, made using Tempranillo grapes and aged for 16 months in French oak barrels.
In regards to the classic wines produced at the winery, a highlight is the Faustino V Reserva, made with Tempranillo (90%) and Mazuelo (10%) grapes, and aged for 16 months in barrels. It is a wine of intense and enveloping aroma, with hints of ripe red fruit, all fused with classic notes of fine woods, vanilla and cocoa from the aging. The palate is round with soft tannins and well integrated sweet fruit maturity on the whole, and sustained acidity that gives nerve and freshness.
And one of its most emblematic wines is the Faustino I Gran Reserva, made with 86% Tempranillo, 9% Graciano 5% Mazuelo, aged for 26 months in French and American oak barrels. It is an intense, deep and warm scented wine, infused with very ripe notes of black plums, fine woods and a refreshing balsamic resins and menthol. The palate is very deep, warm and enveloping, with fragrant, velvety tannins, fruitiness, and an acidity that keeps a good balance of freshness and liveliness. This wine scored the highest in the 2014 Decanter contest, with 97/100 points, more than any other of the 3,200 wines tasted worldwide.