When people talk about Juan Carlos López de Lacalle – and wine people have been talking about him a lot over the past 30 years – the word ‘iconoclast’ comes up again and again. Since founding Bodegas y Viñedos Artadi in 1985, Juan Carlos’ guiding principle has been that wine must reflect the specific place where the vines are grown, that authentic wine embodies the climate, culture, and terroir of the vineyard. Over the years, this philosophy has led him to convert his vineyards to organic, biodynamic, and sustainable practices. His wines are made based on the regional (Alavesa), village (Laguardia), and single-vineyard origins of the grapes themselves.
In the Rioja region, where more than 500 million bottles are produced every year, Artadi’s adherence to natural winemaking and terroir-specific bottlings have put Juan Carlos continually at odds with the authorities that regulate Rioja wine. These differences finally came to a head in 2015 when the winery officially withdrew from the Rioja D.O.C.
So today Juan Carlos, the iconoclast whose Artadi winery had become a reference point for great Rioja, technically no longer produces Rioja. But Juan Carlos López de Lacalle is unfazed. Regulators don’t produce great wine. Only the land itself can make great wine, and Artadi is all about the land.
Artadi Tempranillo, Rioja
Artadi Vinas de Laguardia , Rioja
Artadi Valdeginés, Rioja
Artadi La Poza de Ballesteros, Rioja
Artadi El Carretil, Rioja
Artadi Vina El Pisón, Rioja
Artazu Garnacha White, Navarra
Artazu Garnacha Red, Navarra
Artazuri Rosé, Navarra
Artazu Pasos de San Martin, Navarra
Santa Cruz de Artazu, Navarra
El Sequé, Alicante
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