El Pacto de Cárdenas, a wine that recovers the tradition of Ojo Gallo

July 24, 2023

The Cardenas Pact

The Pact Vineyards It's the look of the wine company Vintage towards its roots, to the village wines, to the purest Riojas. A project in which Richi Arambarri and Raul Acha, CEO and technical director of Vintae, have put all their energy into making the centenary vines shine from the place where their ancestors were born and grew, in the region of High Najerilla.

As a result of this desire to recover the ancestral traditions of that area, the last wine from Viñedos El Pacto, an “Ojo Gallo”, named for its color, a type of wine that was the best known in Alto Najerilla during the coldest decades of the XNUMXth century. It is a style of wine that had practically been lost with the new generations, but that Raúl Acha, like a good “gypsy” (name of Cárdenas), could not let it disappear. The "Ojo Gallos" were one of those wines made at home to share with neighbors and strangers, wines that bear the imprint of their place of origin.

"Just as in other areas Ojo Gallo is an intense claret, in Cárdenas it has always been a red with little color," explains Raúl Acha. It is an elaboration that has practically disappeared that "we have proudly rescued to avoid losing these oenological jewels and why not, also ethnological, of our closest tradition, that of the towns where Vintae was born", assures Richi Arambarri.

The Pact of Cárdenas 2020

This Ojo Gallo was born on a small plot located in Cárdenas, in the heart of Alto Najerilla, at an altitude of 600 meters, planted in 1957 on ferrous clay soils with a high component of conglomerate rock at its base. Its great peculiarity is the plantation mix, since similar percentages of white and red varieties coexist, mainly Garnacha Tinta and Viura, although there are also individual strains of Tempranillo, Malvasía, Graciano, Mazuelo and some unknown variety.

It was made as a farm wine, the red and white varieties together, with a short maceration and aging for ten months in 5.000-litre oak vats. The result is a wine that revives the most authentic local tradition, with primary aromas characteristic of Garnacha, but also balsamic and floral notes. On the palate, like a good Ojo Gallo, it is a "long drink" wine, with marked acidity and a subtle texture. Of this first vintage, only 9.363 bottles have been produced with an RRP of 19,50 euros.

The Pact Vineyards

Among all the projects of the Vintae Wine Company, Viñedos El Pacto is the one most linked to the origin and the firmest commitment of the Riojan wine company in recent years, with the aim of preserving the heritage of old vineyards in the area with natural and manual viticulture, promoting the biodiversity of its plots.

Viñedos El Pacto started in 2009 with a red wine made from Sonsierra grapes and in 2021 Vintae launched the broader project to enhance this area, with a new white, El Pacto del Alto Najerilla, as well as two wines from Viñedo Singular, Valdechuecas and Riojanda.

Vintae, Revolutionary Wineries

Vintae was born in 1999 by José Miguel Arambarri, a businessman from La Rioja and in love with the world of wine. Originating in Rioja, over the last fifteen years, already at the hands of the second generation, embodied by Richi and Jose Miguel Arambarri Pérez, this family company has explored wine-producing Spain, always looking for vineyards and landscapes that would make the diversity and richness of our country known. Vintae has settled in different areas with projects such as Matsu in Toro, Bardos in Ribera del Duero, Le Naturel in Navarra or Hacienda López de Haro in his house, Rioja.

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