A crescent of land in western Navarra, along the Camino de Santiago, bordering the Basque Country and La Rioja. Main town: Estella.
Bisected by the river Ega and bounded to the north by the Sierra de Urbasa, the pronounced mountainous relief of the north gradually evens out in the south where vineyards intermingle with olive and cereal plantings. Significant differences in both altitude and orientation.
Main varieties grown
For red wine varieties, of particular note is the Tempranillo (almost 50% of the total), followed by Cabernet Sauvignon (20%); for whites, Chardonnay is the most prominent variety.
The zone comprises a mixture of soils, depending on elevation and substrata composition. On the slopes of Estella and Lorca, deep, heavy clay soils lie on multi-colored marls formed during the Triassic period. On the remaining, markedly undulating slopes, soil thickness and texture vary, with some areas showing a significant distribution of iron-rich, red deposits. Finally, on the alluvial valley floors and on the remains of the terraces of the Rivers Ega, Iranzu and Odrón, and on the glacis of Montejurra, vineyards are situated in relatively flat areas with excellent drainage, deep loamy soils, often with a high percentage of gravel.
Tierra Estella borders the sub-humid zone of the north and the exceedingly dry zone of the south, with significant Atlantic influence filtered somewhat by the Urbasa and Andia Sierras, with vineyards ideally located in in areas of optimal exposure to the sun. In keeping with the differences in altitude and orientation, vineyard growing seasons range between 206 days in Estella to 224 in Alloz.
Principal winemaking municipalities
Aberin, Allo, Arellano, Armañanzas, Arróniz, Ayegui, Barbarin, Dicastillo, Desojo, El Busto, Espronceda, Estella, Igúzquiza, Lazagurría, Los Arcos, Luquin, Mendaza, Morentin, Murieta, Oteíza de la Solana, Sansol, Torralba del Río, Torres del Río, Valle de Yerri, Villamayor de Monjardín and Villatuerta, in addition to communities of grazing land of Cogullo Alto, Cogullo Bajo, Sarmindieta and Chandivar.