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|Vineyard/Cellar Practices||Certified Organic, Vegan|
In Basque, ostatu means ‘hostel’; the name refers both to the 18th-century inn building that serves as the Sáenz de Samaniego family’s winery and to the family’s commitment to hospitality in all its forms. They’ve farmed in the area for hundreds of years; Doroteo and María Asunción Sáenz de Samaniego have made wine there since 1970. In 2002, four of their six children—Mariasun, Gonzalo, Iñigo, and Ernesto—got together to modernize the winery. The facility operates carbon-neutrally, using green energy and contributing to reforestation. More recently, Ostatu has shifted all 36 of their hectares of vineyards to organic farming practices. Meant to reflect the unique microclimate of the mountainous Rioja Alavesa sub-region in its depth and complexity, this Ostatu Blanco comes from bush-trained viura and malvasía grown in the villages of Samaniego, Laguardia, and Leza, and fermented slowly with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. It's immediately appealing, wafting pretty aromas of pear, lemon blossom and white grapefruit, and offering a vibrant and layered palate of lime, wet stone minerals and melon. Certified organic, vegan.