Bodega 202 was founded in 2014 by Francis and Kathleen Rooney as the culmination of a decade-long relationship with the Rioja Alavesa that first began with the walking of the Camino de Santiago, “The Way of St. James.” After their initial pilgrimage through Rioja, the Rooney’s found themselves returning again to discover more of the wine, the land, and the people – until the decision to start their own project became a fait accompli. They envisioned a boutique winery handcrafting small productions from old mountain plots, focusing on quality over quantity. The aim is to blend the best of the old world Rioja Alavesa with a new creativity and spirit to create the finest single-vineyard wines. The unofficial motto of Bodega 202 since its inception has been ‘old vines and altitude’ – two critical elements for making exceptional Rioja.
Bodega 202 owns and operates approximately 20 hectares of vines throughout the Rioja Alavesa, ranging from the eastern edge, in Kripan and Elvillar, to the west in Salinillas de Buradon. Vines range in age from 35 to 80 years-old, providing great flexibility to select grapes from among the various parcels that performed best in a given year’s harvest so that each vintage expresses distinctive nuances of aroma and terroir particular to its plot in Rioja. The viticultural philosophy is minimal intervention to maintain a natural balance. Aromatic and medicinal plants are cultivated alongside the vines to raise aromatic complexity and combat enemies in a sustainable way.
They produce two annual wines, Ansa and Aistear, as well as forthcoming single vineyard productions on a given year depending on which plots develop in a manner deserving their own showcase as determined after harvest.
- ANSA, the ‘most beloved’ in Gaelic, expresses the voice of our oldest vineyards (70+ years old, some centenary) which are located mainly in the town of Elvillar. Made and aged independently, ANSA is blended once barrel aging is complete. Freshness, a complex bouquet, delicacy in the expression, balance, and elegance characterize this wine, which is created to provide pleasure to the senses.
- AISTEAR is a “mosaic wine”, obtained from very old plots located in both the eastern and western sides of Rioja Alavesa that share the same voice but add the special and distinguished nuance of each place. Intense fruit expression, flowers and sweeter aromas are part of its character that configure extraordinary aromatic complexity, balance and finesse.