Many moons ago, we did a comprehensive regional report on Rioja. This was our very first experience driving into the Ibérico Sierras (system of mountain chains and massifs located in the central regions of Iberia) under a blanket of fog and blooming cherry trees, through windy roads and exposed vines. It was nothing short of beautiful, a stunning landscape that conjured feelings of awe, desperation and fascination. This experience was only amplified when visiting Lopez de Heredia, considered one of the most traditional wineries in Spain. (check out our photos here)
It was here that we met Maria Jose Lopez de Heredia, the grand dame of Rioja, who swept us off our feet with her charm, wit and kindness. After visiting the winery, we left feeling a sincere sense of loyalty to their project. Beyond their desire to make an amazing product; their fortitude to adhere to age old winemaking practices that uses wood for complexity and elegance, not a chew-stick; their perpetual aim to treat each of her visitors with respect and appreciation, we’ve remained tried and true customers ever since.
I’m sharing this with you because Maria Jose’s father, Pedro López de Heredia, has suffered several strokes this year. According to an email from the winery, he is in the process of neurological rehabilitation in Madrid and is doing quite well. However, having suffered through this incredible ordeal, and learning an extensive amount about strokes, they are hoping to raise funds help with medical research in this field – clearly an honorable cause that I would very much like to support.
On Thursday, August, 25th, at 19:00, López de Heredia will host a charity concert by the Oxford Summertime Singers at their winery.
According to María José López de Heredia, “All proceeds will be donated to the investigation of strokes. We hope this will be the first of our efforts in this area to help all those who will suffer the same problem in the future.”
Though we cannot be there, we wish them an incredible turnout for the concert, and hope that even if you cannot make it, you might consider donating to their efforts all the same. I know that many of you have sung praises for their wines, continuously commenting on their quality, authenticity and personality, and I can only hope you’ll give back, even if it’s 25 euros.
Gabriella and Ryan Opaz