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  FLORENTINO MARTÍNEZ MONJE is the soul and the strength of Luberri-Monje Amestoy. A self-made man, he is passionate about Rioja Alavesa, his small wine country which few know as well as him. Florentino leads with energy the family winery in Elciego, where his commitment to progress has succeeded in combining modernity and roots under five unrepeatable red wines.  
  Florentino Martínez Monje interview  

WHAT IS LUBERRI?A life project with which we express how we understand wine, and how we live, enjoy and make enjoy it. We convey something very simple yet deep: a very own personality. And for this we have a basis of unquestionable quality, the Tempranillo grape which is native to our region, Rioja Alavesa. From this reality, we create something unique, the Luberri character.

HOW IS THIS CHARACTER?Authentic, direct and passionate. I always go straight in life and wine. This is how our wines are, honest and true. They’re land, climate, work, tradition and a glance to the present. Fine and with a strong structure, as every Tempranillo red wine should be. And with something special, a delicate nose, full of nuances and profound at the same time. A scent that sets us apart.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO DRINK THEM?Always. There is no special occasion because they are all special. Ours are wines for everyday. Their sense of fulfillment is not overwhelm, but it is close and cordial. This is evident in the case of LUBERRI and SEIS because they are young wines with a short maturity. As for BIGA, our 12 months-aged wine, it blends the young wine’s charm of the first sip with the aroma complexity that oak gives. It’s fleshiness and finesse alltogether in an exceptional yet friendly wine; a great partner, in a word. Also our high expression wines from selected plots, MONJE AMESTOY and CEPAS VIEJAS, show that everyday splendor, since along with a large body they keep the acidity and freshness.


“Luberri wines are land, climate, work, tradition and present: they are honest”


AND FOR THE CELLAR, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS THE BEST MOMENT?Throughout the year there are precious moments. For instance, going round the vineyards to touch the grapes, to know how they are and even what they will give that year. The harvest is also a time of particular intensity, with the entry of the grape in the winery. Or the first wine tasting and its debut. But the best of all is contact with consumers, understand what they think, what they look for in wine. This knowledge has allowed us to develop high end products with no exorbitant prices.

IN THIS SENSE, WHAT DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU SEE A RESTAURANT DINERS EAT WITH A LUBERRI WINE?Great pride, a pleasure. It is what I said before: going straight allows me, as a winemaker, to get proud of those moments since, at the end, what I do is sharing a passion, an illusion, a dedicated and meticulous work. Seeing someone enjoy our wine is something almost magical.

HOW WAS LUBERRI-FAMILIA MONJE AMESTOY BORN? —Along with María José, my wife, we created the cellar in 1991. Since some years ago we had already been buying some plots of vines here and there, mostly in Elciego. I come from a family of farmers in San Vicente de la Sonsierra that established in Elciego when I was eight. Here, my father, my brothers and I managed for many years an agricultural and services company. I took a step further, and after taking care of the vineyards of others I started to raise my own cellar. Nowadays for the management of it, I rely on the crucial collaboration of my daughters, Laura and Miren.

TODAY YOU ARE IN THE MAIN MARKETS OF SPAIN. —That’s it, we sell mainly in northern and central Spain, with an increasing proportion going to export to some European countries and the United States. The overall production of the cellar is 350,000 bottles.


“The difference of our wines? A special aroma, delicate and deep at once. It's difficult to explain”


HOW IS PRODUCTION?The base is the carbonic maceration method, traditional of Rioja Alavesa. We’ve renovated it to make the younger wines, LUBERRI and SEIS. In crianzas and in high-expression reserves, we do a first grape selection in the same vineyard picking the best fruits of the oldest vines. Then, to make the wine, the cellar is equipped with cutting edge technology such as stainless steel tanks, cooling equipment and other advanced features. Another strength is the barrel room, furnished with 750 barriques of French and American oak.

THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS, THE GRAPE IS TH MAIN CHARACTER. Sure, it all comes from there, land and our main treasure, the Tempranillo grape. Balanced and elegant, with body and color, it is critical to get that fruit that young wines have. On the other hand, it is optimal for aging. In the vineyard we just carry on the strictly necessary tasks to adapt the crop to the circumstances of each year. And when we harvest, we like to pick the fruit at the optimum time for each type of wine. In fact, this is one of the secrets of Luberri, of that wonderful and inexplicable harmony that our wines have.

WHERE ARE YOU IN THIS HARMONY? WHAT IS YOUR ROLE?I have the commitment of linking the vineyard, the viticulture, the cellar and an idea of wine that is traditional and modern at once. How can I achieve this? Well, let's say I have my feet firmly on the ground and my head up in the sky, watching the stars. While dreaming I’m also trying to anticipate what the weather will be tomorrow.

LUBERRI Familia Monje Amestoy
Camino Rehoyos S/N. 01340 Elciego, ÁLAVA (Spain)
Tel. (+34) 945 606 010 e-mail: