In the 3rd Century BC the region of Rioja was inhabited by the Berones, a warrior people of Celtic origin. This warlike population, also dedicated to agriculture, livestock, pottery and metallurgy, named the area Beronia. In 1973 a group of friends and businessmen - all members of the same gastronomic society - founded Bodegas Beronia, whose name pays homage to the region's ancient inhabitants.
Driven by their love of food, they set out to produce wines to enjoy with the local cuisine, specialising in Reserva and Gran Reserva styles. The winery was integrated into the GonzÃ¡lez Byass Family wine group in 1982 and began an expansion into international markets. Today, Beronia is one of the most renowned Spanish wineries both on the international and domestic scene.
Beronia produces wine from almost 900 hectares of vineyards in prime Rioja Alta sites. The average age of their vines is 30 years, but a 50 hectare plot of more than 60 year old vines give superb intensity and richness to the final wines. More than 85% of Beronia's vineyards are planted with Tempranillo, the classic mainstay of red Rioja, while the rest is made up of Graciano, Mazuelo, Garnacha and Viura.
Winemaker Matias Calleja has been at Beronia for nearly 40 years and has pioneered the use of mixed oak barrels. These are barrels with American oak staves and French oak ends, lending greater complexity and creating the typical 'Beronia style'. The American oak is considered to be more intense giving flavours such as vanilla, cinnamon, coconut and toast. The French oak, meanwhile, is thought to give more subtle and spicy notes like clove and black pepper whilst also producing wines with a silkier texture.
Beronia has clear focus on red wine - accounting for 95% of its production. Their nearly 30,000 barrels are housed in an underground cellar where the natural temperature and humidity provide the ideal conditions for ageing wine. The average age of the barrels used in Beronia is 4 years and the wines are decanted every four months.