The story of Akutain begins over four decades ago, when Rioja’s storied estates were consistently producing Spain’s most highly sought-after wines. At this time, Juan Peñagaricano Akutain was an engineer in nearby Basque Country, working for a company that sold cooling units to wineries. Juan developed personal relationships with many Rioja bodegas and spent time tasting and learning in the region, most notably in the cellars of two of the great traditionalists of yesteryear – CVNE and La Rioja Alta. These experiences gave him the confidence to plant his first vineyard in 1975, located 5km west of Haro at Rioja’s epicenter. With a desire to work in the chateau style, Juan acquired a horse stable adjacent to the vineyard and converted it into a small bodega. Akutain has been making wine here in this small but highly functional bodega ever since, with the goal being “to control the whole process from vineyard to bottle.” They strive to produce wines in the traditional style set forth by the Grand Bodegas, but on a much smaller scale, and most importantly to singularly reflect the wind-swept, high elevation terruño of Rioja Alta.
Today the property is comprised of 6.5 hectares of four distinct vineyard plots, all estate-owned and located in the Rioja Alta subzone, ranging from 25 to 40 years of age.