Vines range from 30 to 100 years old and are cultivated without the use of chemicals.
Terroir & Vineyards
Roda currently controls 370 acres of vineyard, half owned and half belonging to growers with whom agreements exist. The vines are spread out over 28 different ecosystems in Rioja Alta and Rioja Baja, sited at the zones’ higher elevations, between 1,250 and 2,100 feet above sea level. The varietal distribution of plantings reflects soil profiles, with chalky limestone, iron outcroppings and alluvia in Rioja Alta and arid, sandy soils over a limestone pan in Rioja Baja. All of the vines are bush trained and cultivated without chemicals, and range from 30 to 100 years of age with a yield of less than 1.5 kilograms per vine, illustrating Rotllant’s conviction that only balanced, old vines can fully express the complete microclimate in the wine.
The Concept of Climatic Vintage
The vineyard climate is dictated by larger forces at work within the Rioja region. Rioja is protected from the north by the Sierra de Cantabria, which joins other mountain ranges which eventually reach the Mediterranean via the Pyrenees. The Cordillera Ibérica borders Rioja in the southwest and also continues down to the Mediterranean, making Rioja resemble a large funnel opening to the east and the sea. At the narrow end of the funnel, these two mountain systems come together in the Montes Obarenes, broken only by the river Ebro, which cuts through the rocks to enter La Rioja and flow through it on its way to the Mediterranean. This area of convergence of mountains and river is where Roda and its primary vineyards are situated. Here, the Atlantic, the Continental and Mediterranean climates play off each other unpredictably, causing a given vineyard to respond differently from one year to the next. For this reason, each year at Roda the conversation is not only of the characteristics of the vintage but also of the “climatic vintage” of the year. This was an important consideration in creating the Roda model.