Ancient is no exaggeration here; the estate's origins date back to the tenth century when Count Erramel, a Basque warrior and aristocrat from Álava, founded a small village on the site. Through monks, local hermits, and pilgrims, wine production continued through the end of the 19th century. By the time Telmo's father Jaime purchased the estate in 1967, it was abandoned and in need of rehabilitation, a monumental task that Jaime faced head on, one that Telmo would continue when he returned from University and winemaking stints in Bordeaux and Burgundy. As Telmo set out the rehabilitate old vineyards across Spain and craft terroir-driven wines, his focus never strayed far from his origins: the unique, high-elevation vineyards of the Rioja Alavesa that reach into Spain's Basque country, where it had until recently been illegal to label wines with a village or vineyard.
As he began to identify vineyards to feature in his village wines, one stood out among the rest: San Vicente de la Sonsierra. Perched on a hill overlooking the Ebro Valley, the site is surrounded by the ancient ruins of the San Vicente castle, a 10th century fortress of the Kingdom of Navarre, and home to old-vine Tempranillo up to 90 years in age. There's a dramatic elevation swing from one end of the vineyards to the other along the Toloño mountain range (500m in the valley ascending to 1000m at its peak, the highest elevation in the region), and the poor, calcareous soils there produce wines of great complexity and longevity. With ancestral farming techniques, organic, biodynamic, and regenerative vineyard practices, Telmo launched his first vintage of Lindes San Vincente in 2010.