«In grapes we trust.» – Arturo and Kike de Miguel Blanco
The crazy success story of Artuke
If you don't happen to be a «Marqués» or can at least call a «Castillo» your own, the road to the top of Rioja is quite rocky. But to let that spoil the pleasure of making wine? Never! The two brothers Arturo and Kike de Miguel Blanco don't think much of big names and regulations. They prefer to do their thing according to their own rules. The fact that they are therefore not allowed to sell their wines as «Crianza» or «Reserva» is of no concern to them. Arturo and Kike are anything but "normal" winemakers. But the name «Finca de los Locos» – meaning «estate of the crazy ones» – refers primarily to the history of their best vineyard: Arturo and Kike's grandfather bought a barren plot of land above their village of Baños de Ebro in 1950 to plant a vineyard. People couldn't understand why this «madman» was putting all his money into such a stony piece of land. All the winegrowers at that time were scrambling for the fertile lands below the village on the banks of the Ebro River. Over time, however, the stony patch of earth has turned out to be an exceptionally good terroir, producing very aromatic wines thanks to its high lime content. Their Tempranillo «Finca de los Locos» is an impressive testimony to this: This wine is so intense – it's really crazy! The good drop became an insider tip among connoisseurs and finally landed in the hands of wine critic Tim Atkin – who chose Arturo as «Young Winemaker of the Year» in 2017. James Suckling and Robert Parker followed his example and raved about the wine from the stoniest garden in Baños de Ebro. In a sense, Artuke's path to the top of Rioja was indeed very rocky – and that's definitely a good thing.