Graciano, an incredible variety

The graciano grape is a variety native to Rioja and Navarra, with little implantation in other Spanish wine-growing areas. Its historical presence in Rioja translates into a ‘secondary’ role as a complement to Tempranillo for the production of long-aged wines, as it provides, in addition to structure and color, a characteristic acidity necessary for the aging of wines.
It is not an ‘easy’ variety like Tempranillo, as it has a longer cycle and, both when overripe and underripe, it can have a negative effect on the wines. In fact, it is speculated that its name in Rioja has a lot to do with the fact that it is not a “grateful” variety for the winegrower, hence the name “gracia-no”. Graciano has been at risk of extinction in Rioja but nowadays it is grown on around 900 hectares and is a grape increasingly valued by wineries and winegrowers.
What few people know is that it has been decisive for the future of Rioja. In this regard, in the mid-1990s, the Control Board considered authorizing the French cabernet sauvignon variety in its catalog in the face of commercial pressure and the success of this international grape in the world. The existence of graciano led to the creation of a study committee to see if cabernet contributed something different and the result was that the native grape perfectly fulfilled the task of complementing tempranillo, so cabernet was discarded. Other appellations such as Navarra, however, opted for foreign French grapes.
Traditionally cultivated more in La Rioja Baja, Graciano, however, is widespread throughout the Designation of Origin. Climate change helps it to complete its maturation and, increasingly, more and more wines can be seen in which this variety is present. Graciano, as it could not be otherwise, is present in our Finca Valpiedra, as a complement in one of the great Rioja aged wines, but soon Familia Martínez Bujanda will launch a 100% Graciano varietal in its Viña Bujanda winery.
This is an estate wine, from a vineyard, Peña Logroño, in La Rioja Alta, from the 2014 vintage. A great wine, with power and structure, with which we try to show the character of this variety and that we have worked both in the field and in the cellar to achieve the perfect maturation. The main objective has been to ensure that the characteristic intensity and tannic structure of the grape itself is integrated with the elegance and complexity that characterizes all our wines. Graciano is an incredible variety, with balsamic, menthol and tea notes, which we hope you will enjoy with the new Viña Bujanda Graciano 2014.

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