The path that leads to Propiedad de Arínzano is like the first page of a thousand-year story that still preserves, even today, all its mystery. Two stones which bear the mark of centuries still showcase the original inscription: “Señorío de Arínzano” (The Arínzano Estate). These stones mark the beginning of the property that Sancho Fortuñones received in 1055 from King García Sánchez VI for having saved his life and recovering his place on the throne of Navarre. Fortuñones, in turn, granted the property to a neighboring community of monks so that it could be used for wine cultivation – a task that they carried out for five centuries. Like so many other fine wines, Arínzano has always borne the dual stamp of sacred time and secular earth since its inception.
The history of Spain is wrapped up in Arínzano’s own unique story: after the time when the monks were in charge of the property, the great noble families began to arrive, like Lope de Eulate, advisor to the last king of Navarre, who gave him this estate in 1520. Beginning in 1715, the property was exclusively dedicated to the cultivation of vineyards by the Marquis of Zabalegui and his successors, aiming to coax the best possible grapes from the land. After the phylloxera crisis that ruined vine production, the Chivite family entrusted Denis Dubourdieu, a renowned French enologist and agronomist, with the task of replanting the estate using a parcel approach to distribute the crops over the land – an approach that would help to bring out a certain unique and extravagant expression in the Chardonnay, Merlot, and Tempranillo grape varieties.
Arínzano’s Renaissance has come today: since the property was acquired in 2015, the Tenute del Mondo wine group has found the inspiration that comes with respectful winegrowing in terms of time and nature in this unique land that still holds many mysteries, producing wines that are worthy of the greatest Spanish wineries and which are known around the world amongst wine lovers and collectors.
Arínzano is, first and foremost, a magnificently wild and ever-changing landscape; an oasis that occupies 350 hectares in an arid environment, of which only a third of the land are vineyards. This thousand-year-old glacial trough receives a stream of fresh air from the Atlantic that crosses the final massifs of the Urbasa mountain range and later goes down the river towards the rolling slopes of the estate. In this vast amphitheater, the combined forces of the cold, dry Cierzo wind and the Ega River give each plot a particular edge. Earth, stone, and water give this place its power, energy, and excitement.
There are no great wines without great terroirs – and only man can coax the best from the land: each parcel on this estate is worked individually by the enologist and his team. Far from the prejudices of the past, modern and precise enology is practiced here, dictated by intuition and experience rather than recipes and techniques.
At Arínzano, all players are convinced that time is the ultimate and deep dimension of wine. Brilliant fruit cannot be conceived without the intensity and structure of silky tannins sculpted by time and the measured footprint of essentially new French oak barrels.
The Vino de Pago classification received in 2007, which applies to the entire estate, is proof of the search for excellence that continues in full force every day in this thousand-year-old land. Just like the revelation of the property itself, when the wines are tasted they suggest a thousand years of mystery without fully revealing everything that those years hide.