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El Mozo Wines is a small family project led by Unai and Itxaso Compañon and her husband Gorka. With a history of more than 40 years, they took over the family business in 2010, after the death of their father. Itxaso makes the wines. Gorka grows the grapes.

El mozo is located in the Basque town of Lanciego, in La Rioja Alavesa. They are at the beginning of a rejuvenation of the region. Their parents sold the grapes in bulk to the larger wineries, but from 2012 Gorka and Itxaso started bottling their own wine under the Herrigoia label. A rough translation of the Basque word herri en goia, meaning something like village and higher, referring to the higher location of the vineyards resulting in fresher wines with good acidity.

El Mozo
El Mozo

The domain has 9 hectares, divided into 18 small plots that are organically farmed and vinified with minimal interventions to create micro-wines with an authentic character. The vineyards are located at the foothills of the Cordillera Cantabrica. The mountainous environment provides protection against the influence of the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, the vineyards  are located high, get a lot of sun, have a well-drained and poor soil that ensures small volumes but produces grapes of high quality. The grapes are harvested by hand at the time of optimum ripeness. Tempranillo and malvasia are mainly planted, but they also grow garnacha tinta, viura and turruntés.

A traditional fermentation method is used in the cellar where the grapes are placed in large open concrete vats to ferment. Then maceration carbonique takes place.

These young winemakers who have revived the old plots of their ancestors and make wine in the traditional way, bring a breath of fresh air to the Rioja region. The wines are refreshing and drinkable with the right dose of a raw, Basque character.