Imperial Rioja Wines
Imperial is one of the renowned references in the entire history of Spanish winemaking. It is a true classic in Rioja and was first bottled in the 1920’s. Its name was originally adopted after a special bottling for the English market in a bottle called ‘Pinta Imperial’ or ‘Imperial Pint’ (an Imperial pint, half a litre approximately). The grapes to make Imperial have always come from the 28 hectares of estate vineyards in Villalba (Rioja Alta), and selected vineyards in the nearby communes of Briones and Montalvo, where the average age of the vines is kept over 20 years for optimal quality.
Rioja Alta is the westernmost part of Rioja's three sub-regions. Its climate is noticeably influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The soil in Rioja Alta is rich in iron salts, limestone and clay, along with nutrients deposited in the region by the tributaries of the Ebro River. Rioja Alta is known for producing full-bodied wines with a medium alcohol content and a high acidity level that are suitable for being aged in casks, forming the basis of most red Rioja.