David Sampedro and his wife, Melanie Hickman own and run this 9.5 ha biodynamic estate around the village of Elvillar in the Rioja Alavesa where limestone soils meander through three valleys that run between the Sierra Cantabria mountains and the River Ebro. 3.5 ha of their property is made up of single vineyard sites, elaborated under the banner ‘Struggling Vines’. They also exploit some small plots of Rufete on the granite and slate soils of the Sierra Francia in the province of Salamanca as well as another project in Navarra. Their mission is to rescue plots of old vines, work them manually and with all the soil work being done with the use of a horse. Their winery is solar powered and is partly built underground with cement fermentation tanks to help control temperatures. Ageing takes place for the top wines in French oak 500 and 600 litre casks.
Bodegas Bhilar is a boutique winery located in Elvillar, Rioja Alavesa, run by husband and wife team, David Sampedro and Melanie Hickman. Their goal is to make terroir-driven wines with soul, respect the land, work only with indigenous grapes, and to share their unique wines with good people with positive energy.
"V I N E Y A R D
A west-facing vineyard located in the village of Elvillar, perched atop a hill at 2,100 feet (646 meters). The 2,9 ha parcel was planted in 1967 and was the first in our village planted ascending the Sierra Cantabria mountain range. We farm the land by horse and follow Biodynamic tenets.
H A R V E S T A N D P R O D U C T I O N
Hand-harvested in 10 kg cases following a rigorous selection in the vineyard. Full clusters are fermented in concrete vats with indigenous yeasts. Following fermentation, the wine is pressed and matured in 500-liter French oak barrels for one year followed by 12 months in oak vat,"