The first vineyard was planted in 1975 in the municipality of Villamediana de Iregua (near Logroño), but the winery itself was not founded until 1991 by Dionisio Ruiz Ijalba. His primary business had been the extraction and commercialisation of gravel and stone. As a consequence of this open cast mining, limestone rich but poor terrain was left behind. Whilst this terrain was deemed not very suitable for other agricultural purposes, analyses showed that it would, however, be entirely suitable for viticulture. Dionisio set about transforming thelandscape by planting vines. A fine contribution to the restoration of the Riojan scenery!
Viña Ijalba currently has more than 90 hectares of vineyards spread over several terrains around Logroño, San Vicente de la Sonsierra and the Najerilla Valley. 70% is harvested by hand. Ijalba is also very much involved in restoring native, almost forgotten grape varieties to Rioja – varieties that bring a distinctive element to their wines.
The bodega is equipped with a very modern infrastructure in order to elaborate quality organic wines. The winemaking bay has a capacity of 1,250,000 litres, with stainless steel tanks and wooden vats of French oak. The area boasts a pneumatic press, equipment for temperature control, carbonic maceration vessels and much more. French and American oak barrels are used for maturation. All the processes in the winery are being carried out with the utmost respect for the environment. Waste is recycled and waste water is purified.
At Viña Ijalba, the principles of organic wine production are applied throughout the entire process and a focus on sustainability is always present. It was the first winery in Rioja to receive official organic certification, back in 1994.