Ever since establishing its winery back in the 1940s, La Riojana has always been about producing wine in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion.
As part of that ethos, switching to organic wine production was a natural step very much in keeping with La Riojana's values.
The winery was first certified as an organic wine producer back in 2000 by Argentina's organic certification body Argencert and has since grown to become one of Argentina’s largest producers of organic grapes.
Organic wine is big business for La Riojana, and currently represents 44% of all of La Riojana’s sales in Europe.
We have in total 345 hectares of vineyards dedicated to organic production, which represents around 12% of the winery’s total harvest.
However our organic production is set to increase significantly over the coming years due to the on-going conversion in our member’s vineyards to organic.
By 2017 we expect to see La Riojana’s organic production more than double.
By 2025, we expect to see La Riojana’s production to be 100% organic certified.
The 100% organic certification is being largely supported by a new and ambitious Fairtrade project, which will fund the organic certification of 100% of our small-scale producers, at no cost to them.
This action will not only have a positive impact on the environment, but also on a social and economic level, which in turn will benefit each one of our producers and their families.
The dry, sunny weather in the Famatina Valley with warm days and cool nights make for naturally healthy crops, and is therefore ideal for organic grape production.
Instead of using chemical fertilisers, fungicides or pesticides that only provide nutrients for the vine, La Riojana uses organic fertiliser (compost), produced by sheep grazing freely in the vineyards, to feed the soil itself. This encourages the growth of beneficial organisms, such as bacteria, worms and fungi.
Healthy soils mean healthy vines, which are less prone to disease and therefore are less reliant on chemicals.
Not only do the sheep produce organic manure, they also eat weeds and pests and help to keep the grass down.
Organically certified grape varieties
La Riojana currently produces a wide range of certified organic grapes, including Torrontés Riojano, Bonarda, Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, Aspirant Bouchet, Sauvignon Blanc, Moscatel, Buonamico and Malbec.