Baron de Ley-El Coto buys Rioja winery

Spanish wine group Baron de Ley-El Coto has announced the purchase of winery Carbonera-Bergasa as part of a €5m investment in Rioja white wines.

The group plan to grow non-indigenous white grape varieties at the 500-hectare estate, following regulations allowing Sauvignon Blanc, Verdejo and Chardonnay use in Rioja white wine.

Rules state that indigenous Rioja varieties Tempranillo and Maturana must represent the majority of the blend.

The planting of vines is scheduled for 2011, the first vintage will be in 2014 and wines will be launched to market in 2015.

Victor Fuentes, international general manager of the group, said: "We will be first to strike in this new category - and at the very high quality level for which our red wines are already known.

"It will enlarge dramatically the growth potential for our marques around the world and bring new consumers to the market for Baron de Ley-El Coto."