D Mateos: winegrowing as a raison d’être

The wines of this producer in Aldeanueva have an identity of their own thanks to their old Garnacha and Mazuelo vines and a firm commitment to Graciano over the last two decades.

With a family tradition in winegrowing and winemaking that goes back hundreds of years, Bodegas D. Mateos is one of the latest rediscoveries of Rioja that has managed to capture the character of the Rioja Baja region in its wines.

Agricultural engineer Mateo Ruiz has been at the helm of the business since 2000. "We have gone through two key stages: the first was learning about our vineyards and segmenting them, and the second involved carrying out trials with our wines until we felt confident enough to release them," explains the producer.

Bodegas D. Mateos grows 100 hectares of vineyards in and around Aldeanueva, although Mateo Ruiz has found in the Sierra de Yerga the perfect spot to make his premium wines: "It was common to uproot the old Garnacha and Mazuelo vineyards a couple of decades ago, but we chose to keep them and now we are reaping the rewards of that decision.” D. Mateos was a pioneer in the first irrigation experiments in Spain, as well as in cluster thinning and other vineyard practices such as yield controls, and in clonal selections of Tempranillo Blanco and Graciano: "I like the countryside, the vines, and our vineyards, in the districts of Alfaro, Aldeanueva and Autol, are located at elevations ranging from 320 metres to 650 metres, so the possibilities we have are wide-ranging.”

Old Garnachas and Mazuelos which, together with the Graciano vines that the producer has been growing for the past two decades, are blended in varying quantities in all Bodegas D. Mateos wines: "Tempranillo is also well adapted to our region, but these late-ripening varieties represent a leap forward in terms of quality and personality.”

Mateo Ruiz makes a wonderful Crianza called Letargo; a bold range of varietals and, especially, a family collection named La Mateo, with one of the best Tempranillo Blanco wines in Rioja nowadays and an old vine Garnacha that is sure to impress: sheer pleasure, one of those wines that makes you stop in your tracks —a truly fantastic Garnacha. D Mateos has also invested in the recovery of the historic family winery, which is more than a hundred years old, and in the village itself.