Pol Roger to distribute Artadi in the UK

Pol Roger Portfolio has struck a deal with one of the top names in Spanish wine – Rioja renegade Bodegas Artadi – to distribute its wines in the UK.

Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacaille, owner of Artadi in Rioja Alavesa

From 1 November, Pol Roger Portfolio will be the exclusive UK distributor of Artadi, which is run by renegade winemaker, Juan Carlos López de Lacalle.

Founded in Rioja Alavesa in 1981, Artadi began as a co-operative run by Lopez de Lacaille and 13 local growers with vineyard sites around the town of Laguardia.

The mutual aim was to draw out the individual character of each vineyard through careful cultivation of the vines.

Adopting a more modern approach to winemaking in Rioja, Lacaille works with French rather than America oak, and focuses on fruit driven, Tempranillo-based single vineyard expressions rather than blends from across the región.

The jewel in the Crown is the 2-hectare walled El Pison vineyard with vines dating back to 1945.

Today, Artadi own 65 hectares of vineyard in Álava planted in soils with wide geological diversity. Fourth generation winemaker López de Lacalle works alongside his son Carlos, who will carry the torch for the fifth generation.

In December 2015 Artadi hit the headlines when it announced that it was leaving the Rioja DOCa.

At the time Lopez de Lacaille said the decision was made: “based on the sole intention of producing wines with a clear message from our land, our vineyards and our landscapes in order to fully respect and transmit our unique origin”.

Since then, the governing body in Rioja has changed its regulations allowing estates to use the term ‘single vineyard’ on the front labels of their single vineyard wines, which is a step in the right direction for the region.

Since founding Artadi, Lopez de Lacaille has added to his vineyard holdings with a 40-hectare vineyard in Navarra, where he works with old vine Garnacha, and an 80-hectare plot in Alicante.

“We are thrilled to welcome the Artadi family of wines to the fold. It represents the very best of modern Spain with a perfect combination of low-yielding old vineyards and indigenous grape varieties together with considered winemaking.

“Family is also key to the development of Pol Roger Portfolio, hence it is particularly pleasing to find an established family producer to join the impeccable range of family-owned wine and spirits producers we already represent,” said James Simpson MW, MD of Pol Roger Portfolio.

Juan Carlos Lopez de Lacaille added: “At Artadi we believe that wine is not just wine, but the perfect symbiosis between man and nature.

“We are very pleased to be joining Pol Roger Portfolio. We believe that this project is formed by people and families linked to the vineyard and the wine. We hope that we can contribute with our range of wines and delight UK wine lovers.’

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