Gómez Cruzado commences staggered harvest in Rioja Alta and Rioja Alavesa for a short, high-quality vintage

Vines are in a healthy state and boast excellent vegetative conditions

19 of September of 2017

Haro, 19 September 2017.- The picking of the Viura and White Tempranillo around the town of Haro marks the beginning of harvest season at the GÓMEZ CRUZADO winery in Haro’s Barrio de la Estación, located in Rioja DOCa. During this early, warm and dry year the growing season has been significantly affected by a late-season frost on April 28th which reduced production by up to 50% in some areas. In this short vintage, and after a dry summer “the rain during the last week of August allowed for a final ripening stage that was balanced and slow,” explains Juan Antonio Leza, the grape grower and winemaker who works alongside David González at the helm of GÓMEZ CRUZADO.

GÓMEZ CRUZADO's vines are in a healthy state and boast excellent vegetative conditions: located in the most elevated areas of Rioja Alta and Alavesa, where great wines strongly rooted in their terroir can be crafted. The winery manages 55 hectares spread out across more than 100 plots of old bush-trained vines. These vineyards preserve the traditional Riojan landscape. GÓMEZ CRUZADO performs a meticulous and rigorous harvest closely monitoring sugar and phenolic ripening across its different terroirs. The winery works in three microclimates with three different types of soil: Upper Najerilla, Lower Najerilla and Sierra Cantabria. 

The first red Tempranillo grapes to enter the winery hail from vineyards in Uruñuela, Cenicero, Huércanos and Torremontalvo (480-560 m above sea level), where the Najerilla flows into the Ebro River in central Rioja Alta. This area is characterized by alluvial soil and round pebbles. It is somewhat warmer with a notable Mediterranean influence. The wines crafted from these vines have a high degree of maturity and excellent ageing capacity.

After this area, lower elevation regions are harvested, such as Lanciego in Rioja Alavesa, located at about 400 meters above sea level. “During the second week, we move up in elevation to the plots around the Sierra Cantabria and Sonsierra – in the upper areas of Lanciego, Samaniego, Leza and San Vicente, which are all located between 600 and 650 meters above sea level”, notes Juan Antonio Leza. This renowned area with poor calcareous clay soil and very old vines is clearly influenced by the Atlantic climate, which leads to wine with marked typicity, freshness and elegance.

 And finally, “the red grapes from Haro and the Upper Najerilla Valley in Rioja Alta will be picked during the third week of harvest”, predicts Leza. The last area is the Upper Najerilla where Garnacha grows at the foot of the Sierra de la Demanda. Bush-trained wines over 80 years old are rooted in red ferrous clay soil on northern slopes at an altitude of about 740 meters where a pre-mountainous, Continental climate prevails. The grapes from these vineyards are remarkable for their strong fruitiness, lightness and marked acidity.



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