Since 1991 Miguel & Conchi Blanco and their sons Arturo & Kike have been making wines under the Artuke name. Bodegas Artuke is a 22-hectare estate in Banos de Ebro, Rioja Alavesa. This region is cooler than other parts of Rioja due to the influence of the Atlantic breeze.
Today, Arturo is the chief wine maker. I visited him in 2016 and he was kind enough to show me around their vineyards. He explained his wine making ethos and given the language barrier, most of this was through Google translate! His patience was much appreciated.
Arturo decided to make wine outside of the strict DOC controls in Rioja as he believes it allows him to express the wines origins and purity of fruit more clearly. Artuke consists of five separate sites where grapes are grow: Each has a different soil type and altitude and each of their wines are distinctive and represent their place of origin. Their top site La Condenada (condemned) had been abandoned for generations as it was considered too difficult to grow vines successfully.
Today La Condenada is Artuke’s top wine and has 93 Parker Points: A great testament to Arturo’s vision for his winery and the huge amount of work he has put into it.