Scroll down for a May 2020 interview with Javier, the owner and farmer.
This is one of the most aesthetically smart vineyards I have seen. The care and attention lavished on the plants themselves is very unusual. Also, grapes are never bought in, in fact the farm not only sells grapes to other "producers" but also makes wines on behalf of other brands. Including Cavas.
The wines are immaculate and well presented and are made more interesting (the reds) for not generally being all Tempranillo.
Some words from Javier...
Viñedos Real Rubio has over 90 hectares of vines, which are cultivated according to a studied plan. "First, we decide which varieties we will grow in each plot depending on the soil and climate conditions, as well as the way the vines face, so as to shelter them from the wind or over-exposure to the sun.
Among all these, if we consider the area planted with each grape, the most significant varieties are Tempranillo, occupying around 38 hectares, Garnacha, with 27 hectares and Graciano, with 17 hectares. And while the commitment to these more traditional Rioja varieties is one of the distinguishing features of Viñedos Real Rubio, we also have organic vines, to which we devote 26 hectares, in which we grow Verdejo, Graciano, Chardonnay, Tempranillo and Muscatel grapes.
All the vines are cultivated according to growing practices aimed at achieving maximum quality in the grapes, as well as respect for the environment. With this as our goal, we do not use insecticides, which we replace with sexual confusion methods, and we use integrated crop control techniques so as to avoid the use of phytosanitary treatments as far as possible. Moreover, in some varieties, we follow practices which are not very common due to their cost, but which are highly effective, such as leaf thinning, in order to achieve a better balance between the skin and the juice in the berry, and thus improve the quality.
Finally, in order to widen our understanding and improve growing methods, we have plots which are set aside for research and experimentation with new grape varieties. We also take part in research projects, such as the Study of Pruning in the Verdejo Variety, with the Agricultural Research Centre of the Government of La Rioja and the Agricultural Technology Institute of Castilla y León."
Today (May 2020), we interview Javier Rubio, owner of Real Rubio.
Hi Javier, very nice to have this interview with you.
- Since 2004, Real Rubio has been making DOCa Rioja certified wines. Could you tell us why, together with your wife Mariluz, do you decide to launch your own brand?
For us it is a dream come true. The greatest achievement for a farmer is to produce, process, transform and sell his own product. If the consumer also values it, that extra energy is added to try to improve it every day.
- What does the vineyard represent for Real Rubio and for you personally?
The vineyards represent the essence. I think the main part to make a great wine starts in the vineyard. If you take attention of your vineyards, you know the potential they have and you know the type of soil in which they are planted, the micro climate of each plot and an endless number of small but important tasks, it will be easier to get a good product.
- Are all the vineyards located in the DOCa Rioja?
We have all our vineyards into the DOCa Rioja.
We have vineyards from 350 meters of altitude with loamy-sandy soils to 750 meters, with calcareous and loamy clay soils.
This wide height difference allows us to grow different varieties allowed within the denomination.
- Regarding the wines, you elaborate a very complete range. Why do you decide to have that range diversity?
It is determined by two factors: the first it´s the vineyard diversity, the pride of having all the varieties of Rioja planted, both white and red grapes. Producing each variety every year allows you to grow in your profession and have a broader knowledge of the future. The second is to be able to offer each type of consumer the style of wine they like best.
- You also make organic wines...
Organic wine is one most important ranges of the winery. There is a very important grup of countries where the demand of this kind of wines is growing and I think the quality and the visibility we are achieving is very positive.
We cultivate 50% of our production with organic certificate and 100% in a sustainable agriculture.
- Have you been present in several countries for many years thanks to exports?
The winery started from the beginning with a clear export character and we are currently present in 22 countries.