The wine plots of Astobiza, which comes from the cool Basque country of northern Spain, are located on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in Álava. The farm got its name from the nearby mountains. Xabier Abando, who made his career as a construction entrepreneur, was only fifteen years old when his winegrower father suddenly passed away. With this, Xabier's dream of owning his own winery was ignited. Finally, in 1996, Xabier bought the estate of Señorio de Astobiza near the town of Okondo, and planted the first 2 hectares of vineyards. The city is located in the Ayala Valley in the northern parts of Álava, about 30 kilometers southwest of Bilbao. In the area, the Atlantic climate mixes with the continental climate, there are plenty of hours of sunshine, but sometimes there are also storms. The estates were completed in 2007 and the first wine from the estate was released the following year when Xabier was 68 years old.
The farm has grown from the original 2 hectares to 14 hectares and the local Hondarrabi Zuri and Hondarrabi Zuri Zerratia (Petit Courbu) varieties are used. Izkiriot Hand or Gros Manseng is also grown on half a hectare. All the farm's wines are single vineyard wines, as the soil in the vineyards consists of limestone clay and sand. 7 ha is located right around the winery and the remaining 7 ha in the nearby villages of Olabezari and Menagarai. 16 ha of grapes are also bought from the farmers of these villages for vinification. A lot of grass and wild herbs also grow between the vines. The bunches of grapes grow on approximately 20-year-old vines and are picked by hand in 20 kg boxes. The vineyards located on clay soil are generally managed without pesticides, but the production is not certified organic, as the mildew pressure is high in some years. The vineyards are located approximately 300 meters above sea level and have a cool and humid climate. In winter, temperatures often drop to freezing.
In the wine cellar, the wines are made mainly in steel tanks and malolactic fermentation is not allowed according to the custom of the region. There are also egg-shaped cement tanks in the cellar, where Malko wine from the vineyard closest to the winery is made. In 2021, the Private Collection 2017 wine was also released from Malkoa, which, in addition to cement tanks, matured for half a year in one 400-liter and one 600-liter old oak barrel.
The family farm was run for several years by Xavier's son-in-law, Jon Zubeldia, who made his career in Michelin-starred restaurants, together with renowned Basque oenologist Ana Martín Onzain. Originally from Bilbao, Jon previously studied tourism and business administration, ending up working in Paris, London and the south of France in various wine cellars and wineries. With a degree in wine business administration from the Instituto de Empresas in Madrid, Jon became interested in native varieties and has dedicated himself to raising the profile of Hondarrabi Zuri. Jon recently left the main responsibility due to his new cooking projects, but Pepe Hidalgo Togores, a famous oenologist in Spain, is still working with Ana on the farm. Ana has been involved in the operation of the farm since its beginning, already 11 years before Jon. The combination of Joni's innovation and Ana's experience has produced better wines year after year, which take their drinkers away. In addition to wine, the farm also produces gin and vermouth, which the 2021 World Vermouth Awards awarded as the world's best semi-sweet vermouth!
Together with other wineries with passion and respect for the origin of the grapes, Astobiza belongs to the Grandes Pagos de España community.
The farm's annual production is around 90,000 bottles.