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Remirez de Ganuza owner dies following cancer fight

Fernando Remírez de Ganuza, founder and owner of Rioja winery Bodegas Remírez de Ganuza, died on Tuesday at the age of 73 in Barcelona.

Fernando Remírez de Ganuza had been undergoing treatment for lung cancer in Barcelona when he died earlier this week.

Born in Navarra, he founded Bodegas Ramirez de Ganuza in 1989 in Rioja Alavesa, and is widely considered to have been instrumental in transforming the Rioja region.

In 2010 he sold 50% of the winery to real estate group Sidercom, managed by the Urtasun family, and in 2019 divested himself of the rest of the company, which is now managed by José Ramón Urtasun.

“In addition to being the creator of the winery, he has marked the present and future of wine in Rioja,” said Urtasun. “In the nineties, it was a very traditional area, where entire families were dedicated to wine. His arrival meant a great revolution for many.”

Remírez de Ganuza, which was awarded ‘Best Rioja winemaker’ in the 2024 publication of db’s Master Winemaker 100, owns more than 80ha of Tempranillo, Viura and Malvasía across vineyards in Samaniego, Leza, Elciego, San Vicente de la Sonsierra, Laguardia and Abalos, with many of the vines more than 60 years old.

“Not only was he a great professional, immensely knowledgeable about this region and even more about its people, he was an extraordinary man….like a father to everyone,” said Maria Victoria Fernandez Salinas, director of Remírez de Ganuza.

She added: “This year we certainly won’t have a good harvest because even the vines mourned his absence.”

Urtasun expressed the same sentiment in saying: “Fernando was a man attached to the vineyard. It was what he liked the most and what he dedicated all his energy to.”

The drinks business extends its condolences to the team at Remirez de Ganuza, and to Fernando’s family.

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