San Vicente de la Sonsierra is one of La Rioja’s most picturesque villages – dominated by a castle in ruins and ancient church on the top of a hill, its narrow streets eventually lead to magnificent views across the vineyards of Rioja, set against the backdrop of the Sierra de la Demanda and Sierra de Cantabria. However, what is less commonly known is that San Vicente is home to one of Rioja’s finest new-wave producers, and yet one of the most unrecognized – Heredad San Andrési.
This historic winery, with its vaulted stonework and ancient cellars dating back to the 16th century, caught the eye of newlyweds Enrique Eguiluz and Magdalena Mendoza in 2000. Optimistic and bursting with drive and ambition, this charismatic and hardworking couple decided at the turn of the century to stake their claim on the (then) disused winery, fulfilling a long-standing dream to produce artisan wines at the heart of the Rioja Alta sub-zone. It was a fitting move for the family; Enrique’s great-grandfather had been involved in the wine business, transporting wine in barrels from Rioja to the Basque country and his children were winegrowers in Rioja.
However, Enrique and Magdalena knew this was not going to be a walk in the park. The winery required a considerable investment of time and money and if nothing else, they needed a catchy name for their new project. They settled upon the brand name Cupani, in deference to the native variety that was cultivated in the Rioja, before phylloxera devastated its vineyards in the 19th century.
Today, Cupani is run by Enrique and his children Enrique Jr and Miguel, the estate’s winemaker. From 15 hectares of exceptional vineyards, they continue to produce superb, smooth, modern-style, fruity and elegant estate-bottled reds – the single vineyard Garnacha is a particularly fine example, offering all the concentration and muscle of a Priorat, but at half the price. But above all else, these delicious wines are a testament to the family’s single-minded devotion to excellence – Miguel is a great spokesperson for the importance of terroir cultivation and forbids any use of pesticides or herbicides in the vineyards. The results speak for themselves – rich, powerful Riojas that transmit a sense of place.
Visit this lovely family run estate and enjoy a visit to their onsite historic necropolis, beautiful vineyards, and even a homecooked lunch with estate wines, as part of a luxury chauffeured tour. Contact us for more information!
Cupani Rielo (White)
100% Viura. Fermentation takes place in French oak. The wine is then aged for a period of 10 months in barrel and subject to battonage (lees stirring) to increase complexity. A complex, structured white Rioja that will improve with bottle age.
100% Grenache. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks. The wine is then aged for a period of 12 months in new French oak. A powerful, concentrated wine.
100% Tempranillo. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, although malolactic fermentation occurs in French oak, of medium toast. The wine is then aged for a period of 28 months in new French oak. The prestige wine of the property, Sir Cupani will benefit from extended cellaring.
100% Tempranillo. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, although malolactic fermentation occurs in French oak, of medium toast. The wine is then aged for a period of 24 months in new French oak. Accessible on release, Cupani Tempranillo can be cellared for several years.
Travesía la Concepción, 30
26338 San Vicente de la Sonsierra
La Rioja, Spain
Tel +33 659 611 206
- Area under vine
- 15 Hectares
- Age of vines
- 30 years+ Low yields
- Oak barrel origin
- Miguel Eguíluz
- Eguiluz family
- 8,000 bottles per annum, depending on the vintage
- Grape varietals
- Tempranillo, Garnacha, Viura