Bodegas Sierra Cantabria was founded by Guillermo Eguren, a self-made bodeguero, who was, in the family tradition, a viticulturist. His family, native to San Vicente de La Sonsierra, one of the most sought after terroirs in Rioja, had grown grapes in Rioja Alavesa since the 1870’s. For decades the family sold their grapes to local producers, but Guillermo recognized the potential that his family's vineyards had to create great wine, and founded Bodegas Sierra Cantabria in 1957. Today, the fourth generation of the Eguren family directs all aspects of the winemaking process, with Marcos Eguren as the winemaker and director of operations and his brother Miguel Angel Eguren as the general manager.
The family still prides themselves as viticulturists first, and as a result, all of the grapes are estate grown, and they do not source fruit from any third party source. As viticulturists in Rioja Alavesa, they grow a vast majority of Tempranillo, with only a small percentage of Garnacha and Graciano, as they recognize that Garnacha and Graciano do not ripen reliably in northern Rioja, and they do not want to source their Garnacha and Graciano from Rioja Baja.
Viñedos Sierra Cantabria was a project started by the Eguren family around 1995 with the goal of producing and showcasing the finest wines they could possibly make from their finest vineyards that produce distinctly unique expressions of Tempranillo. Due to the history of viticulture in their family, the Eguren family takes pride in understanding their vineyards to a degree which is rare in the winemaking world.
Today, the original wines produced by Bodegas Sierra Cantabria have been combined with the wines created under the Viñedos Sierra Cantabria brand to form a cohesive collection under the Viñedos y Bodegas Sierra Cantabria brand.
The Viñedos y Bodegas Sierra Cantabria collection is built upon a foundation of classic style Rioja wines made from a blend of selected vineyards. Due to their viticultural background, the family’s wines are composed of mostly Tempranillo, as they recognize that Garnacha and Graciano do not ripen reliably in Northern Rioja.
As the business and customer demand evolved over the years it has allowed other projects such as Viñedos Sierra Cantabria to take shape. These were created from the family's collection of single vineyard wines.
From this selection of single vineyards, they produce a series of ageing declassified, small production boutique wines, which all attempt to showcase the unique microclimate, soils, and terroir of each vineyard. Through this unique process, they are also able to demonstrate the different expressions of Tempranillo that are possible, even within a single subzone of Rioja.
Sierra Cantabria Cuvée, the entry level wine, is produced from La Llana, a vineyard located planted in loamy soils on the northern banks of the Ebro river, which produces a distinctly mineral expression of Tempranillo. Sierra Cantabria Reserva Única is a select blend of the best Reserva tier wine that the winery has that is submitted to a strict blending process and given a luxurious barrel treatment. Sierra Cantabria Colección Privada is produced from two very old vineyards planted in the 1950’s that marries two very classic Rioja winemaking styles – destemmed maceration and whole cluster carbonic maceration. Finca El Bosque is produced from the vineyard of the same name. This vineyard is an absolutely spectacular expression of Tempranillo, planted in iron and nutrient rich soils that are extremely well drained due to the uncommonly high proportion of large rounded stones in the soil. The high drainage reduce yields while the concentration of nutrients and minerals produces a deep, intense, and structured wine that the Eguren family believe is the ultimate expression of structure and intensity that Tempranillo can achieve. Finally, Amancio is the family’s top Rioja wine, and is named for Marcos and Miguel’s grandfather, who planted the intermixed La Veguilla vineyard by himself starting in 1966.
The Eguren family started this project after the resounding success of the aging declassified, single vineyard, single variety, single cellar wine San Vicente.