Winemaker Matias Calleja

GET TO KNOW RIOJA

Matias Calleja is the winemaker at Bodegas Beronia situated in the wine centric village of Ollauri, located in Rioja Alta. Here, he supervises the production of red wines and recently changed the blend of Beronia rosé this year. Beronia was started by a group of Basque businessmen, who enjoyed food and wine in the spirit of Gastronomic Societies popular in Basque country. In a nine-year time span, the world-famous Sherry house González Byass purchased the bodega and entered into Rioja. In 1982, Matias joined Beronia the same year that marked Spain’s transition to democracy and the first full year of a full democratic Rioja Regulatory Control board. He believes these foundations are positively impacting Rioja’s capacity today to catapult forward into the 21st century. Vines planted at this historic turning point are now flourishing in spectacular quality at 25-30 years of age.

A native of Ollauri, Matias believe that the Ollauri terroir and the surrounding villages such as Briones, and Villa Alba, provide an exquisite calcario soils, average altitudes of 600 meters with distance from the riverbeds.  He highlights the microclimates of Rioja Alta and the small plots that comprise their grower community as definitive factors of Rioja Alta and their vineyards.

Matias also produces the only Mazuelo Reserva in Rioja. Released in 2011, it is available on a highly allocated basis in select markets.    Often overlooked for its intrinsic qualities, Mazuelo is an indigenous grape variety. In the later part of the 20th century it was on the verge of extinction. Matias believes Mazuelo is at its best when it has benefited from barrell ageing. It is a wine made to pair with barbecued meats, cheese and the curious consumer who wants to experience a different expression of Rioja.

Part of the attraction of the Tempranillo grape variety is its ability to produce a broad range of wines from young to aged. With this inspiration, Beronia produces a young Tempranillo and a range of Crianzas to Gran Reservas. They age their grapes in barrels of mixed French and American oak to highlight the desired blend of tannins and structure, while always respecting that the fruit is primary on the palate. Matias was a pioneer for introducing mixed oak barrels for aging.

Matías Callejas has been working at Bodegas Beronia since 1982 and has more than 31 years of experience producing the highest quality wines in La Rioja. Matías highlights the innovative spirit of Beronia, “We are always experimenting with small batches of wine to see if we can improve and adapt the style, tastes and flavours of our wines.”

 

Matías has created a distinctive style of Beronia, which encompasses both the traditional and the modern, and which are at present very representative of La Rioja. Matías is a fervent supporter of sustainable agricultural techniques, carefully controlling all aspects of the process throughout the growing season. It uses the most environmentally friendly techniques, both in the vineyards and in the winemaking process.

After calling himself an “enthusiast” of oak, Matías was one of the pioneers in the region to promote the use of mixed barrels, French and American oak. Today these are quite well-known but with years of experience, Matías has perfected his craft in order to ensure the most integrated and supple wines go into the bottle at Beronia, such as the multi-award winning Reservas and Gran Reservas that bear the brand’s name.

Discover More

Trade Secrets

Contact

Join the Rioja Trade Community

One factor that makes Rioja a world class wine is its ability to be aged for a long time, and the fact that the winery ages the wines before release. In fact, Rioja has long set the standard for extended aging, having defined the requirements.

Bodegas Available for
Export in the US

Bodegas Ontanon
CVNE
Vivanco
European Cellars/ Eric Solomon Selections
Europvin
Evaton
Fine Estates From Spain
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Frederick Wildman & Sons
Grupo Bodegas Faustino
Marques de Riscal
Ole Imports
Opici Wines
Osborne USA
Palm Bay International
Quintessential
Shaw-Ross International Importers
Ste. Michelle Wine Estates
Terlato
The Artisan Collection
The Drink Collective
Vinamericas Selections LLC
Vineyard Brands, Inc.
W.J. Deutsch & Sons, Ltd.
Winebow
Winebow (MundoVino, a member of The Winebow Group)
Zamora Americas
220 Imports
A.I. Selections
ARAEX/Spanish Fine Wines
Arborway Imports
Artevino
Ascent Wines
Assa Imports
Astor Wines
Austral Wine Merchants
Aveniu Brands
Baron Francois
BCG Consulting
Bodega Classica/Vintae
Bodegas Castillo de Mendoza
Bodegas Corral, S.A.
Bodegas Medrano Irazu
Bodega Nivarius
Bodegas Ontanon
Bodegas Pastor Diaz
Bodegas Patrocinio, SCL
Bodegas Riojanas
Bodegas Tobia
Bodegas Valdelana
Bon Vivant Imports
Boutique Wine Collection
Bronco Wine Company
C & P WinesBronco Wine Company
Carolina Wine Brands USA
Casa Ventura Imports, Inc.
Cerda y Llanos
Chartrand Imports
Chateau Armand
Classic Wines
Classical Wines from Spain
Cognac One, LLC
Coleccion International Del Vino USA (CIV USA)
Constellation Wines
Constellation Wines
David Bowler Wine
De Maison Selections
DFV Wines
Dionysos Imports
Divino Imports
Domaine Select
Dreyfus Ashby & Co
Eguren Ugarte
Elite Wines
Emporium Nostrum
ENYE Imports Group
Familia Martinez Bujanda
Felix Solis Avantis
Folio Fine Wine Partners
Folio Wine Partners
Francisco Selections, Inc.
Freixenet USA
Frontier Wine Imports
Garnacha Inc
GECO Global Group USA
Golden State Wine Co.
Gonzalez-Byass
Grapes of Spain
Grupo Bodegas Olarra
Grupo Principe de Viana
H.A.B. North America
HGC Imports Inc.
Hidalgo Imports
HP Selections
International Wine & Spirits
Janet Kafka
Kysela Pere et Fils, Ltd.
La Rioja Alta
Laurel Importers
Lionstone International
Lopez de Haro
Luneau USA, Inc
Maisons Marques & Domaines
Marfa Group
Marques de Murrieta
Michael Skurnik Wines
MJM Imports
Monsieur Touton Selection Ltd.
Murphy Distribution
Natural Wine Co.
New Age Imports
Noble House Wines
North American Organic
Omniwines
P.R.Grisley Co.
Parador Selections
Paternina
Pernod Ricard USA
Pipeline Distribution
Polaner Selections
Protecom Wines Inc.
Regal Wine Imports
RM Distributors
RM Mabor
RMB
Roda
Romero & Miller, LLC
Royal Wine Corp.
Serendipity Wines
Signature Imports
SolStar Wines
Spain Wine Collection
Spanish Vines Imports, Inc.
Specialty Cellars
Steve Miles Selection
T Edward Wines
Tempranillo Inc
Terra Nostra Vinos
Terroir
Testa Wines of the World Ltd.
The House of Burgundy, Inc.
The Marchetti Co./Scoperta Importing Co.
The Spanish Wine Imports
Think Global Wines LLC
Torres
Tradewinds Specialty Imports
Transatlantic
Tri Vin Imports
United Cellars
United Wineries/MHW
USA Wine West
Vin de Terra Imports, Inc.
Vin Divino
Vinaio Imports, Ltd.
Vinole Wines
Vinos and Gourmet Jose Pastor Selections
Vinos Libres
Vintage Wines
VINTUS
Vision Wine & Spirits, LLC
Well Oiled Company
Wine Associates, Inc.
Winebow
WineLite Imports
Winesellers, Ltd.
WineWise