Bodegas Leza García: pioneers in Uruñuela

The Leza brothers farm 110 hectares of their own vineyards in La Rioja Alta and produce a wide range of wines, and will shortly be adding a selection of Viñedos Singulares (singular vineyards).

They are professional winegrowers, but the Leza brothers are also passionate about their job. Their grandfather used to make wine in a cellar in Uruñuela, while their father built the first modern winery in the village, where he made his first destemmed wines. Until 2000, the Lezas bottled wine occasionally. "We sold bulk wine to other bodegas, but with the financial crisis in 2000 we decided to launch our own brand and work with greater security," says Fernando Leza.

The family has always relied on its own resources, with no external investors, the grower explains. "We started bottling young wines and gradually expanded our range until 2004, when we began exporting —it actually worked really well for us in the wake of the 2008 crisis.”

Nowadays, Bodegas Leza García is one of the leading exporters of Rioja wine to China. Indeed, 70% of its wines are sold abroad, although the launch of its Nube range, which includes a semi-sweet white, and varietals of Tempranillo Blanco, Sauvignon Blanc and a lightly bled rosé, has proved to be a great success in the domestic market. "The youthful, casual image of the wines and their freshness has been a real boost, to the point that we have reduced our exports from 70% to 50% to meet the domestic demand of Nube,” Fernando Leza points out.

The family grows 110 hectares of vineyards in La Rioja Alta in the villages of Ábalos, Uruñuela, Alesanco and Hormilla. All of their production is sold bottled, plus a few hectares owned by close relatives. They produce a number of wine ranges in addition to Nube: Valdepalacios is the most classical, Leza García are more personal and modern wines, and their top wine LG, which is only made in special vintages. At the moment, they are also working to launch a collection of Viñedo Singular wines, which will soon be unveiled.