Bodegas Tritium was born from our depth of feeling for our old family vineyards: a love and care that today allows us to have eight hectares of different varieties aged between 90 and 113 years old. These vineyards were never subject to the great uprooting that occurred in La Rioja: the first of these took place in the 1960s-1970s, spurred on by the arrival of mechanised labour and the second in the 1980s-1990s with the arrival of the multinationals in the wine business.
Tritium Unlike in France where vineyard owners adapted their tractors to the width of the traditional vines, in the 60s and 70s Spanish vines were uprooted to allow a greater use of machinery and to simplify the tractors’ entrance into the vineyards. In the 80s and 90s a large demand for grapes within the Rioja AO, good prices (with almost no respect for quality) and the subsequent arrival of large corporate ownership saw the substitution of old varieties for new, high yielding ones. The subsequent loss of vineyards and viticultural heritage was very high for the sake of higher yields and profits.
We, however, opted to conserve our historic vineyards in order to preserve the genetic, original vines as well as the landscape and biodiversity of our land.
With a clear commitment to honour the best grapes from hundred year old vines, two childhood friends therefore joined forces in the knowledge that they could do something different with these vineyards. Thus, through mixing ambition with humility and, guided by a different way of understanding agriculture and wine, Bodegas Tritium conceived the idea of making artisan wine under its own brand: a wine that is not only well made but also respectful of its terroir.
Thus materialized a project linked to a deep winemaking tradition, over five generations of the same family, all dedicated to grape-growing in Cenicero and Tricio. It is from this town in Rioja, with its rich Roman history, that our name is derived: Bodegas Tritium.
Given the richness of our local history and our unique surroundings, we at Bodegas Tritium have committed to the restoration of a traditional fifteenth century winery in the old town of Cenicero.. This winery is all the more particular in having the original ashlar stone lagar and wine press, as well as cellars extending to a depth of 10 meters. This is a place designed to make wine using the wisdom of generations, connected to its surroundings, to the environment and to nature.
The winery was rebuilt preserving the original structure and rehabilitating disused areas for the production, aging and bottling of Tritium’s premium wines. Today, it is an open space which brings together tradition, familiarity and craftsmanship: a meeting place for those who want to discover one of the most deeply rooted cultures in our country – WINE.
In the oenology world, terroir wines are those with unique characteristics that allow the taster to guess its provenance. But, let us have a little history lesson: until about 20 years ago, all wines were terroir. In fact, when tasted, they could be differentiated as to the individual area, village or even plot of origin.
Each small area has its own wine culture, a different identity depending on the soil, climate or altitude where the vineyards are located. In past times, La Rioja had a diversity of cloned vines adapted to these specific environments. Today, however, these wines are endangered due to the use of a few selected clones. Indeed, in the last 20 years, 30,000 new hectares have been planted in the region with less than six different clones being used.
As far as development is concerned, the use of non-native yeast and enzymes has brought about the emergence of expressive wines which still remain very similar and unallocated as to terroir: wines without a precise identity because the selected yeasts and enzymes act differently during the fermentation and modify the structure of the wine, making them more homogeneous. Faced with this, the very mechanism of indigenous yeasts have adapted themselves to the characteristics of the soil, leaving room for other, more personal qualities of each area. In the case of Bodegas Tritium, our old vines have hundreds of different clones, all adapted to their environment, which gives our wines an extraordinary uniqueness.
At Tritium, regardless of fashions and interests, our wines have been finding their place in the hearts of our customers: customers who understand wine and are looking to enjoy them and the excellence with which they have been made.
The Tritium team is made up of Javier Fernandez, Francisco Rubio and Alejandro Campo, who have made viticulture and oenology their life’s project. They are wholly dedicated to their land and to their wines putting body and soul into the working of the vineyards and the small amount of premium wine produced.