The history of Rioja wine is written by families of winegrowers who, from generation to generation, bent their backs in the vineyards and who eventually decided to sell their own wines. This is the story of Bodegas y Viñedos Ilurce, a family originally from Grávalos who founded their first winery in Alfaro in 1940. It was Amador, grandfather to the present generation —Inmaculada, Amador and Ana— who launched the business. Seven decades later in 2010, the three siblings moved their new facilities to the outskirts of the town. All their wines are powerful, the result of the Escudero family's commitment to the location of their vineyards —60 hectares in Alfaro, with warm Mediterranean influence, and the continental dominance of the Yerga mountains—, as well as their focus on Garnacha and Graciano.
Their Ilurce Rosé, made from old Garnacha vines, is spectacular and their two red varietals deserve a special mention: two Garnacha wines with high sentimental value for the family. Ángel comes from a vineyard in Yerga. It was planted in 1965 by Ángel, uncle of the current generation, after returning from military service, while El Sueño de Amado is sourced from a vineyard dating from 1918: "It was planted by our grandfather Amador, known as Amado, when he returned from his honeymoon, although nobody in our family was able to remember the exact year. We came across it in the records of the Grávalos Town Council. We later amended the year of planting in the official registry because it was listed at a later date,” explains Amador Escudero, who takes care of farming the family's vineyards. Some of the vine shoots were brought by their grandparents from Requena. They travelled to this Valencian town for their honeymoon after hearing the news that a new winemaking school was being built, as they wanted their first son to study there.
Ilurce is also a pioneer in the resurgence of Graciano, a variety with great potential in the area. Its latest release is Sintauto, a spectacular varietal wine born out of Amador Escudero's determination to obtain what he considered to be the best planting material for his vineyards.