Bodegas Patrocinio winery is a cooperative winery located in the Rioja Alta sub-area of the famous Rioja Spanish region.
The bodega produces white, rosé, and red wines, from the traditional and iconic Riojan grape Tempranillo, but also Garnacha, Mazuelo, or Graciano.
The offering comes under several brands: Señorío de Uñuela, Zinio, Sancho Garcés, and Lágrimas de María.
Read along as Bodegas Patrocinio tells us more about their History, their terroir, and their wines:
Wine Reviews & Tasting Notes
Bodegas Patrocinio winery is the driving force behind Uruñuela, a town of 967 residents uniquely positioned in the heart of the Rioja Alta. We started out as 200 grape growers with small vineyards in Uruñuela, who in 1985 decided to join forces to produce and market their own wines. Quite naturally, we feel a huge responsibility to our families, our town, La Rioja, and Spanish wine in general. At Bodegas Patrocinio, the incentive of individual interest is replaced by collective effort and compensation. This is our ethos.
Over the past 30+ years, we have evolved to a highly professionalized and innovative winery, focusing on getting the best out of our key asset, 525 ha of proprietary vineyards in one of the most premium areas of Rioja. Unlike much of the competition we control and grow all our own grapes and can guarantee quality where many others have to rely on buying in wine to fulfil orders.
1986 – First harvest
1993 – First bottling
2000 – Modernization and expansion of facilities.
2004 – María Martínez joins Patrocinio as Head Winemaker
2005 – ZINIO wine range created to preserve old vineyards
Since 2005: various R&D projects (vine vigor control, natural pest control, resveratrol, micro-oxygenation, …)
2008 – Second expansion of facilities
Since 2008: vineyard zoning (soil maps, research on soil impact on wine style and quality, viticultural units)
2014 – BRC and IFS certification
Producing wines in the Qualified Designation of Origin (DOCa) Rioja entails a commitment to quality and enormous respect for its years of tradition and prestige.
In terms of geographical location, few wine-growing areas are on a par with Rioja. Encompassing the uppermost part of the River Ebro, the region benefits from the mild climate of northern Spain. This means abundant sunshine, sufficient rainwater and a variety of micro-climates and soils.
Bodegas Patrocinio’s winery and vineyards are located in the Najerilla Valley, right in the heart of Rioja’s top subzone Rioja Alta, at altitudes comprised between 450 and 600m asl. We are surrounded by mountains to the north and to the south (Sierra Cantabria, 1455m; Sierra de la Demanda, 2270m) and also by 3 rivers (the Ebro to the north, the Yalde to the south and the Najerilla to the west). The combination of our soils and the local climate makes this one of the best spots for high quality Tempranillo grapes and allows us to produce diverse, complex wines that are always true to their terroir.
Our climate is typical of Rioja Alta, predominantly Mediterranean with strong Atlantic influences. The average annual rainfall is around 430l/m2, and harvest time is preceded by several weeks of dry weather with warm days and cool nights. These factors significantly stimulate berry maturation.
The Tempranillo grapes grown in this area benefit from adequate and complete maturation of 40 days between veraison and harvest; this being the reason that each year, optimal alcoholic and phenolic maturity is achieved.
Our most distinguishing feature is the diversity of our soils.
We spent several years studying the soils of our vineyards as part of a joint research project with Rioja’s CIDA (Centre for Research and Technological Development of Agri-food).
This gave us one of the most accurate soil maps in La Rioja. On our estate, up to 22 different soil types have been identified that may be divided into three large groups:
- On the lower terrace of our vineyard, alluvial soils prevail and allow us to obtain very fruity wines showing the typical, pure character of Tempranillo from Rioja.
- At an altitude of 490-550 meters asl, soils are stony, with different types of clay, and alluvial deposits mainly at the surface. This diversity of soils generates complex fruit flavors and marks the character of the region. Wines from here are silky, refined and multi-layered.
- On a plateau and a slope situated at 550-590 meters above sea level, vines are rooted on very poor, calcareous-clay soils, which are ideal for the gobelet (bushvine) training system. The resulting wines are concentrated, full-bodied and suitable for longer ageing periods.
Vineyards and grape varieties
With an area of 525 hectares, we have a wide array of soil types, varieties, average ages and microclimates at our disposal. Nevertheless, given the ideal conditions for Tempranillo in our area, 85% of our vineyard is planted with this variety. The other red grape varieties Garnacha, Graciano and Mazuelo combined make up 5%, our white varieties Viura, Malvasía and Tempranillo Blanco 10%.
Tempranillo we will find on all of our soils, whereas the other varieties are planted mainly on clay and limestone soils.
The most planted red variety in the world. Originating from Spain, it has spread all over the Mediterranean. It requires exceptional soil and heat conditions at the time of maturation in order to reach its full potential, which is why it is grown in abundance in Rioja Baja. However, these same conditions are found in Uruñuela. For this reason, we produce several single-variety Garnacha wines that exhibit all the fruitiness and concentration this variety has to offer.
Also known as Carignan. Together with the Graciano variety, this is one the classic wines of La Rioja. When blended, it adds tannin and acidity, which are vital for wines that are to undergo ageing. It is said that a small proportion of this variety combined with Tempranillo creates the ideal blend.
A classic component of Rioja blends, which adds structure and interesting aromas. At the moment its planting is slowly on the increase. Wines made with this grape are held in very high esteem, with intense colour and high acidity. It helps to increase the ageing potential of our wines.
This is the white Riojan grape par excellence and the main grape we grow in Patrocinio. It is also known as Macabeo, particularly in Catalonia, where it forms part of the traditional trio of Cava varieties. In our winery, it produces still, vibrant wines with subtle aromas of herbs and spices. It is the base of our whites that are fermented in the barrel, a traditional technique developed in our region.
This is the second most common Riojan grape, although much fewer Malavasía vines are planted than Viura. This variety makes up only a small proportion of the Patrocinio vineyard, but we are appreciative of its fragrant notes and delicacy when blended with Viura.
The winery was built in 1985/86. Since then, several extensions have been added. Currently the winery covers 5500m2 and is equipped with the latest state-of-the–art technology to maintain the grape quality at all stages of production from grape reception to bottling.
Fermentation and vinification take place in temperature controlled stainless steel vats. The aging process may take place in concrete tanks, in stainless steel vats or in our 3,000 oak barriques of renowned coopers.
At Bodegas Patrocinio, we rely on sustainable viticulture and truly believe that quality wines are made in the vineyard. Always eager to improve, the experience gained by generations of wine growers is complemented by various research projects focusing on grape quality. Also, the intimate knowledge our families have of their individual plots is paired with “the big picture” our agricultural engineers bring in: To control the total of over 1500 plots that make up our estate, they work with sophisticated vineyard management techniques based on detailed soil maps, Global Imagery System, GPS localization and constantly updated databases.
As for the training system, the majority of our vineyards are planted in bush vines. These, and also many of the vertically trellised vines (due to the small size of the plots), are hand harvested, with yields ranging from 3000 to 6500kg/ha.
Bodegas Patrocinio is owned by 200 grape growers (vignerons) who have literally grown up in their families’ vineyards. One of them is young and dynamic Ricardo Leza, the current president, who together with the elected board leads the winery in a progressive, forward thinking way.
The operational business is managed by CEO Fernando Villamor. Native to Madrid, Fernando earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University Complutense of Madrid. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Enology, Viticulture and Wine Marketing. His professional career involved working in the area of marketing for chocolate and wine companies. His first job was as Head Buyer followed by other managerial positions. He is hired by Bodegas Patrocinio in 2005 to expand sales network around the world.
María Martínez is the Technical Director. She holds a Degree in Pharmacy from the University of Seville. In 1996, she earned a Master’s Degree in Enology and Viticulture from the University of La Rioja. She entered the wine world by supporting the technical department of another Rioja winery where she later became head technical director in 1998. In 2004, she joined Bodegas Patrocinio as the Technical Director.
The team is complemented by 20 fully employed, highly qualified and motivated professionals.
Patrocinio exclusively produces estate bottled wines from Spain’s DOCa Rioja appellation, with an average production of 2 Million bottles a year.
Our strength is both classic and modern style red Rioja Tempranillo, complemented with White (Viura, Tempranillo Blanco), Tempranillo Rose, and Reds from Garnacha and Graciano.
We produce a variety of styles in 3 main ranges: our traditional Rioja range, marketed under our brands SEÑORÍO DE UÑUELA (national market) and SANCHO GARCÉS (export market); our modern winemaker Maria’s signature line LÁGRIMAS DE MARÍA, and our vineyard selection range ZINIO, limited to the best 72 ha of the estate. All of these are complete lines ranging from young, unoaked wines to long-aged Reservas. We are known for delivering great quality over all price bands.
Cellar Door Information
Our cellar door shop opens 9am-2pm and 4-6pm on weekdays, 9am-2pm on Saturday. Winery visits may be booked in advance, calling +34 941 371 319 or sending an email to visitas(at)bodegaspatrocinio.com.
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